James Graham, the prop for St George Illawarra Dragons rugby team is of the opinion that England have a very good chance to make the most of the mid-season test against New Zealand this Saturday. He believes that the English team has an opportunity to build on the good work they’ve been doing since the start of the last year’s Rugby World Cup, and have a chance to justify the newfound respect they’ve earned in the rugby world over a period of time.
Talking to the press, James Graham said, “When you speak to Australians, we seem to have gained a lot of respect from the World Cup campaign and especially the final. It was a strong campaign. We didn’t get the win but we built something there that we want to continue on with as a group.”
The former forward with the St Helens team played a key role in taking England to its first World Cup final in 22 years. Despite the fact that they lost 6-0 to Australia (report here on bbc.com) in that match, the team’s efforts were commended in every corner of the rugby world.
A great multitude of rugby bettors, including the ones in Australia, are looking forward to this upcoming clash between two very good sides. Anyone who wishes to bet on rugby matches, but doesn’t know where to begin, should check out the best betting offers, tips and odds at https://www.australiabestbets.com.au/.
Game happening amidst major concerns
Wayne Bennett’s team will be back in action, although in an unusual setting of Colorado, Denver, in the United States, when they play a fresh-looking Kiwi team which will go out on the field for the first time under the newly-appointed coach Michael Maguire.
Graham made a move to Dragons from Canterbury post the rugby World Cup and has always been vocal about his support for the controversial mid-season Colorado trip. In fact, he was among the group of people who had sent a combined signed letter to NRL and its various clubs, requesting them to stop opposing the mid-season game (more on it here at skysports.com).
Dragons are in fact so concerned about the fixture and its location that they’ve sent Nathan Pickworth, their strength and conditioning expert to Denver to especially take care of the front rower as well as Gareth Widdop, his Dragons teammate. Both English and Kiwi sides are presently getting used to the altitude at Denver.
Both the players are expected to arrive back in Sydney in time for their next rugby match against Parramatta on Thursday, June 28.
John Graham has always been a huge advocate for the International Rugby League. He believes that sometimes one has to pay a price for one’s opinion, but it’s worth paying. He along with many other players were very keen on getting this game going, and see a huge potential in making it grow for the next few years.
England go into the match without 4 important players that were there in their World Cup final team, and are down with injury.
Mark Percival, the St Helens centre who appeared in the last World Cup only once, is expected to win his 5th cap. Luke Thompson and Tommy Makinson will most likely make their debut for the national side.