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Dragons forward James Graham.

St George Illawarra are still searching for reinforcements as James Graham prepares to return to England to finish his career where it began at St Helens.

With Issac Luke moving to Brisbane two weeks ago, the Dragons need two signings to complete their 29-man roster by August but rival clubs have been reluctant to release players.

It is unlikely St George Illawarra will recruit another hooker to replace Luke but they are looking to bolster their forward depth with Graham departing.

Graham has continued to train with the Dragons this week but he played his final game in the Red V last Saturday and was given an emotional send-off by team-mates and coach Paul McGregor after the 20-8 defeat of Gold Coast.

The 34-year-old will play the remainder of the season for St Helens before returning to Sydney at the end of the year.

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"It wasn't an easy decision, but this gives me the opportunity to go home and finish my career where it all started - play out the six months and then return to that new chapter back in Sydney," Graham told NRL360 on Monday night.

The departure of fellow England prop Luke Thompson from St Helens to Canterbury created the chance for Graham to return to the club where he played 224 games before joining the Bulldogs in 2012.

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"I started there as an 11-year-old and my coach there at the academy [Mike Rush] is now the CEO, and he is the guy who I have been doing the dealings with to sign," Graham said.

"It's obviously a club that look after their own in that journey and there is a lot of fond memories."

The Dragons agreed last week to let Graham go once they secured a replacement but the club is still in the market for another middle-forward as rival clubs are reluctant to release players.

"I'm not normally a quitter and I hope this doesn't perceive me as one," Graham said.

"You've got a coach there [McGregor], who I would walk to the end of the earth for, and a playing group that I am incredibly bonded to."

With Luke moving to Brisbane, Jack de Belin stood down under the NRL's no fault stand-down policy, Tariq Sims injured and Jordan Pereira suspended, McGregor only had 24 available players for Friday night’s clash with Sydney Roosters.

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