“It was a bit nasty!” Campbell Graham scores hat-trick against the team who hoped to have him

James Gordon
Campbell Graham try for Australia against Scotland

Photo: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

If things had gone differently, Australia winger Campbell Graham could have been playing for Scotland at this World Cup.

As it was, he scored a hat-trick for his country against the country of his father in the Kangaroos’ 84-0 rout at Coventry.

The South Sydney Rabbitohs winger was a late call up for Mal Meninga, filling one of the places vacated by the likes of Brian To’o choosing to play for Samoa.

Before that, he was set to represent Scotland.

Instead, tonight was his debut for Australia and he marked it with three tries – the first coming after 21 minutes and then two more in the second half.

A special night for Campbell Graham

Born in Sydney, Graham’s father hails from Glasgow while his mother is from Coventry, meaning the occasion was made for him.

And while his immediate future will be in the green and gold, Scotland coach Nathan Graham has not given up on seeing his namesake in the Scotland shirt.

The coach said: “We’ve always known the situation with Campbell. If he wasn’t getting in the Australia squad, he would be in ours. That’s the relationship we’ve had.

“As soon as he got picked, I phoned him up and wished him well. That’s the country of his birth.

“I know in future, he does want to represent his heritage, so we’ll see how that goes.”

When asked about Campbell’s hat-trick against his team, Graham joked: “That’s nasty that, isn’t it?!”

REPORT: Australia 84-0 Scotland: Addo-Carr stars in Kangaroos rout in Coventry

It was a tough evening for the Scots, who made an error from the kick-off taking the ball in to touch.

Australia eventually ran in 15 tries, including four for winger Josh Addo-Carr.

After their disappointing opener against Italy last weekend, Scotland must now dust themselves off to face Fiji in their final group game.

Graham added: “We spoke about breaking the game up in to 10 minute chunks and completing sets. Straight from the kick-off, we’ve made an error, so we’re totally under pressure. Next time we got the ball, we made an error. You can’t do that because they’ll ruin you, and they did.

“They’re the best players in the world. 75% of our players are part time. The step up to this standard is a massive ask. I thought we competed at times. But fitness and skill wise, if you take half a play off or make an error, it’s punished straight away.”

Graham also revealed that Sam Luckley, who recently swapped Salford for Hull KR, and Sheffield centre Bailey Liu missed out through illness that had hit the camp during the week.

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