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Leeds Rhinos coach explains how St Helens legend James Graham changed rugby league

The word legend gets thrown around a lot these days.

In fairness, Super League has been full of them.

Treble winners, back-to-back Champions, Grand Final legends, Challenge Cup heroes, and one of a kind players.

These are players like Rob Burrow and others who in some ways have changed the game or how its played and former Leeds Rhinos, Hull KR and Bradford Bulls centre and current Leeds assistant coach Chev Walker has said that he thinks a former St Helens star changed the way rugby league played.

This is James Graham whose willingness to pass the ball at prop is what Walker believes the modern game is built upon.

He said on Twitter:

“Graham changed the way the position was played forever I’d go as far as saying the block-o-fest we get in todays game is built off the back of grahams ball playing.”

Because of this style, Graham achieved success on both sides of the planet. In England he was a treble winner in 2006 and also won Challenge Cup Finals in 2007 and 2008 contesting six Super League Grand Finals in a row.

In 2012 he made it seven Grand Finals in a row when he helped Canterbury Bulldogs to the decider after making the move down under and making a real splash in the NRL.

In fact, in 2014 he was back in the Grand Final with the Bulldogs.

In total he made over 150 appearances for the club before joining St George Illawarra Dragons.

After a stint with those Saints, in 2020 he returns to St Helens where his last game was a Grand Final triumph over Wigan Warriors.

Since then Graham has had a number of roles especially in the media but also runs podcasts of his own including one designed to raise awareness about the importance of treating head injuries properly.

Now Graham is set for a new role at one of his former clubs.

The most capped England player in history, Graham is returning to Canterbury in an interesting role.

Graham is set to be involved with the commercial side of the club but will also contribute towards the coaching and development of young players alongside new coach Cameron Ciraldo according to the Daily Telegraph.

So Graham is set for a role that will see him become a key figure all across the club and based on his rugby intelligence – as seen through his fantastic punditry – he will be a good appointment.

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