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Graham finds opportunity knocking at his door a lot lately

Campbell Graham woke bleary-eyed the day after the Roosters' grand final win to find his telephone buzzing with a number he didn't recognise.

"I nearly didn't pick up," the South Sydney winger-centre told

Thankfully he did, as it was Test coach Mal Meninga on the other end.

"I remember getting the phone call from Mal when I was waking up after watching the grand final. He told me he wanted me in the Prime Minister's team.

"I had to get on a flight that afternoon to go and join the boys in camp. I was very excited to get the opportunity," Graham said, after Eels winger Blake Ferguson was forced to withdraw with injury.

"They were a great bunch of blokes and some very good players in there. A lot of them I have always looked up to as footballers.

"Then Curtis Scott got injured unfortunately in that game (against Fiji) and that opened up another opportunity for me to play in the World Nines. I jumped at both those with open hands. They were unreal experiences for me."

Campbell Graham scores for Australia at the 2019 World Cup 9s.
Campbell Graham scores for Australia at the 2019 World Cup 9s. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

So it seems when opportunity knocks, Graham has been able to open the door.

He only turned 20 midway through 2019 – his third NRL season – and is now two matches off reaching game No.50 with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

And he's already got two representative jerseys, with the promise of more on the horizon.

NSW coach Brad Fittler has again named Graham in his 'Emerging Blues' squad.

In some ways Graham sounds like an old footy head on young shoulders.

"I've been very fortunate to have a fair bit of experience in my short career so far. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity early and have managed to maintain my spot in the first grade side.

"I suppose being around the older boys I've learnt a lot and picked up a lot very quickly."

He is a valuable part of Wayne Bennett's team, scoring 14 tries in 27 games this year. He also made 16 line breaks, 65 tackle busts and averaged 122 metres.

"It was pretty gruelling there towards the end of the season. I had a bit of a niggle in one of my shoulders. But the physios at Souths took care of that for me.

"I managed to get through the year just fine. I didn't miss a game for us this year so that comes down to good fortune – and good physios."

Although he played mainly on the wing for the Rabbitohs he enjoyed the handful of games at centre.

"In the conversations I've had with the coaching staff at Souths I've told them I'm very happy to do my bit for the team whether that's on the wing or in the centres.

"But I really did enjoy my time in the centres at the back end of the year. I played a lot of my junior footy there and feel quite comfortable there.

Graham gets a double inside three minutes

"Then again I've played the majority of my (48) NRL games on the wing so I've found a home for myself there too. They are both crucial positions and I want to learn more about the aspects of those two.

"There are numerous areas in my game I want to improve on in 2020. I want to sit down and have a few chats with Wayne about that."

Meantime, it's conditioning time. The Rabbitohs squad is off to the South Maroubra sand hills this weekend, after spending part of their pre-season doing swimming pool sessions.

"It breaks up the monotony or running up and down a field every day," Graham said.

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