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St Helens legend says there will be an “investigation” into Australia if they fail to win the World Cup

James Graham is well loved on both sides of the planet by rugby league fans.

He has won two Super League titles with St Helens in 2006 as the club won the treble and in 2020 in his last ever game meaning he finished his career as a Super League Champion once again.

Between those two wins were sadly seven Grand Final loses. Five in a row at St Helens until 2011 before making it six in the NRL with Canterbury in 2012.

In 2014, he again guided the Bulldogs to the Grand Final but again came up short. This didn’t damage his reputation, however. He’s still well loved at the Bulldogs to this day as well as at St George Illawarra whom he left the Bulldogs to join.

We have seen the love for Graham in recent weeks after he revealed he had some brain damage after 400 games of rugby league at the top level.

So, well loved by both sides of the rugby league world, there is perhaps no man better placed to give insight into both England’s and Australia’s chances of World Cup glory.

Ahead of Australia’s opening game which came at Headingley against Fiji, Graham rejected the claim that there is no pressure on the Aussies going into the tournament as holders and looking for a third consecutive trophy.

Instead Graham said there would be an investigation into the side if they failed to win the World Cup.

He said on BBC: “There’s pressure on every team, and Australia being favourites of course there’s pressure. If they don’t win there will be an investigation over in Australia as to why this didn’t happen.”

It comes after Australia skipper James Tedesco said there was no pressure and a focus on enjoyment at the launch: “There’s no pressure.

“We’ll make sure we will play our best footy over the next six weeks, but it’s all about enjoying it. Enjoying playing for Australia and making it enjoyable for everyone back home. We just want to make our families proud, nothing would do that more than winning the World Cup.”

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