Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

James the Thirst Can Light the Way! ; Paul Sculthorpe Tells Ben Collins England Bad Boy Graham Will Make Amends

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

James the Thirst Can Light the Way! ; Paul Sculthorpe Tells Ben Collins England Bad Boy Graham Will Make Amends

Article excerpt

PAUL Sculthorpe believes former St Helens team-mate James Graham will be back with a bang when he returns to the England side on Saturday.

Graham was left out of the World Cup opener against Australia for his part in the events which saw Gareth Hock cut from the World Cup squad completely.

Graham cut a forlorn figure as he watched last weekend's 28-20 defeat from the stand but the NRL-based prop is set to come back into contention for this Saturday's sell-out clash against Ireland at Huddersfield.

"It was a shame not to see James Graham involved," said Sculthorpe, a two-time Man of Steel.

"I'm sure he'll come out firing to make up for last week - if selected, because George Burgess was outstanding and Chris Hill ripped in as well.

"Jammer adds a lot of pace and power to the England pack, and it's his enthusiasm as well.

"He's a talented player and he can play with the ball. That's one thing he learnt to do through his time at Saints and it threw the Australians a bit when he went over there. You don't see many prop forwards playing before the line in the NRL but Jammer does."

Graham has proved himself against Australia's finest week in, week out over the last two years. The 28-year-old reached last year's Grand Final with Canterbury Bulldogs and this season was named the club's player of the year.

Yet it is believed he was in a group of players that went out after England lost to Italy in their warm-up match at Salford. Hock then overslept, missing a recovery session on the Sunday morning, which resulted in the new Salford forward being sent home by coach Steve McNamara.

"It shouldn't be for a coach to tell players what to do, certainly at this level," said Sculthorpe, who hails from Oldham and won 26 caps for Great Britain. "They're professionals and they know what's needed.

"I'm not saying 'Don't have a beer', there's just a right time to do it. …

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