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“I always wanted to play for Australia” Why former Scotland international Campbell Graham chose Kangaroos over Bravehearts

When Scotland take on Australia tonight in the World Cup they will be missing a player they expected to be a key part of their tournament.

That player is Campbell Graham, who instead will be on the wing for Australia as he makes his Kangaroo debut against the Bravehearts.

Graham is one of the best outside backs in the NRL and has been rewarded for his form this season by making Mal Meninga’s Australia squad.

With his Dad being from Glasgow and his Mum from Coventry, coincidentally where the game is being played, Graham had the opportunity to represent one of three nations at this World Cup.

Having already represented Scotland, he looked set to be a part of the Bravehearts squad with his parents already planning their trip over to England for the tournament.

Speaking to The Sydney Morning Herald, the lengthy outside back explains his decision to represent Australia and his parents thoughts.

“Dad’s all for it. As long as I’m not playing for England, he doesn’t mind,” Graham joked. “But for now he’s an Aussie supporter so it’s all good.

“Obviously it would have been a proud moment to represent Scotland. But he knows that this is just about the pinnacle of our game in terms of representative football, and he’s completely supportive of where my allegiance lies.

“I was always going to play for Australia if that opportunity came up and made that clear from the start. So he’s very happy for me.”

While he was still in charge of South Sydney, former England and Great Britain Head Coach Wayne Bennett tried to bring Graham into his Lions squad for the 2019 tour.

His Scottish heritage would have allowed him to represent the Lions without jeopardizing his chance to play for New South Wales or Australia.

“Bennett was whispering in my ear and so was big Sam, but I knew where my allegiance lies,” Graham said. ““That was brought up a few years ago to play for the Lions, but I was never really going to commit to that if it ruled me out of an opportunity to play for Australia.

“This was always a goal of mine, I was never going to make any decisions that would jeopardise that or rule that out. I always wanted to play for Australia.”

On Friday he will play his first game for the green and gold but Graham wouldn’t rule out playing the Bravehearts again in the future.

“Maybe later in my career I’ll have an opportunity to represent Scotland again, but I can’t wait to verse them.”

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