Graham disappointed by Burgess defection

Canterbury Bulldogs prop James Graham admits that he felt pangs of disappointment when he found out that Sam Burgess was switching to rugby union.

The Liverpudlian forward actually shared a room with Burgess during last year’s World Cup, when both were on England duty.

Burgess revealed nothing about his move during that time, though.

“No, he didn’t mention it to me,” Graham told reporters in Australia.

“It wasn’t until I got back to Sydney and the whispers were going around. He didn’t mention it to me and we were rooming, so he can keep a secret I guess.

“(I was) disappointed to be honest. Disappointed for the game because I think as a code we need people like him and we need people like Sonny Bill (Williams) and people like Benji Marshall to want to stay.

“And this isn’t an attack on the code. For me, I love rugby league and I want to see the best athletes and the best people for the game stay in the game.

“And it’s happened in England with outside backs that England have produced, straight away rugby union clubs are coming after them.”

But the Bulldogs prop does not see himself swapping codes at any time in the future.

“Where would I play?” he asked, speaking rhetorically.

The two English forwards are set to clash in the middle unit in this year’s NRL Grand Final, with the Bulldogs set to meet the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Sunday.

Graham does not see the game as being about him and Burgess as individuals, however.

“Honestly, I don’t think there is as much in it as people make out,” he added.

“He plays in the middle; I play in the middle. I’ve got to do my job for my team.”


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