You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
England prop James Graham.

England prop James Graham is confident his side will gel in the Four Nations despite a host of players no longer calling the Super League home. 

The English squad is comprised of many players who have left the mother country to play a starring role in the NRL, but Graham said that wouldn't be an issue heading into this weekend's game against New Zealand. 

"Obviously a fair few of us are plying our trade over in Australia. That's just football, isn't it?" he said. 

"There are lads from other clubs that play against each other and stuff like that. It's not really an issue. We all get on really well. Whether you play anywhere in Super League or anywhere in NRL, we all get on really well."

Five players made their international debuts in the 40-6 win over France last weekend, including Jonny Lomax, whose long road to recovery has left a lasting impression on Graham. 

The St Helens fullback suffered a serious head injury as a teenager which required emergency open skull surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. 

Despite the nature of the injury, the 26-year-old has forged a stellar career in the Super League, and his exploits have struck a chord with Graham.  

"[They're settling in] really, really well actually," the Bulldogs skipper said of the new faces in the English side. 

"One lad in particular I'm really pleased for is Jonny Lomax. If you look at the story, he's had some injuries and some stuff before that when he was a bit younger. 

"I was so proud to be alongside him and to play with him on his first cap. I really, really can't speak highly enough of that kid. I'm so pleased for him."

Graham suffered a head injury of his own on the weekend which forced from the field with 10 minutes to go and will need to prove his fitness ahead of Sunday's game (AEST) against the Kiwis. 

He admitted to feeling "a bit sore" at the end of the match, but it appears more than likely that he will line up for England this weekend. 

The 31-year-old identified New Zealand's monster forward pack as something England needed to stop, otherwise star Kiwis halfback Shaun Johnson would likely hurt them as he did in the epic 2013 World Cup semi-final. 

And while New Zealand's threat is there for the world to see, Graham hopes home-ground advantage could serve as England's secret weapon in a match that will likely see the winner advance to the Four Nations final. 

"We're expecting a really tough Kiwi team," he said. 

"They're really strong through their middle forwards, and obviously Johnson off the back of that. It's going to be tough for us. 

"We know they're a quality side, but [I'm] really looking forward to playing at Huddersfield. [There'll be a] full house, and it should be a great atmosphere. 

"I can't wait to play on English soil. To play in front of friends and family is really important to me and something that I've really missed, so I can't wait." 



Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

Premier Partner

Media Partners

Major Partners

View All Partners