James Graham reveals the mega star who was interested in Samoa job as he thinks Matt Parish will be under huge pressure following defeat against England

Many were expecting today’s post-mortem to be about England, with Shaun Wane’s side tipped for an opening game defeat to Samoa.

But things didn’t pan out that way with Wane’s somewhat controversial selection decisions being more than vindicated as his England side more than defeated favourites for the game and challengers for World Cup glory 60-6 with a 10-try demolition job.

After the game, this prompted an inquest into what went wrong for Samoa on BBC’s red button forum in which the panel of James Graham, Jon Wilkin and Lois Forsell believed things like being undercooked and a lack of connectivity cost the Samoans.

Wilkin though was more focused on what he believed was a defensive “shambles”

“They were a shambles defensively. I thought the biggest disconnection that they had today was defensively. Slightly different systems, difference in timings,” he said on BBC after the game.

After this, James Graham said he believed their would now be pressure on coach Matt Parish as he revealed that star names like Sonny Bill Williams had offered to coach the Samoan team: “We talk about the systems of Samoa, what’s going to come into question now is the coach Matt Parish who for the past couple of years has been under pressure. There has been some mega stars who have offered to coach this Samoan team, Jones brothers, Sonny Bill Williams now the questions will be asked of this Samoan team.

“They have a super star line-up on paper but on grass they were awful.”

This feeds into a negative narrative that has been circling this star-studded Samoan team and their coach with The Daily Telegraph reporting in 2021 that the likes of Jarome Luai and Josh Papalii wanted to see Parish depart the club even writing to the Samoan Prime Minister in hopes that this would lead to a change on coach.

Parish has stayed in charge for the tournament but after yesterday questions are beginning to be asked over whether it should have been someone like Sonny Bill.

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