Graham elated after long-awaited England success

England prop James Graham is feeling very pleased, after his team beat New Zealand at Wigan on Saturday, to break a long-standing deadlock at international level.

England had not won any silverware for eight years, and the team has been unable to defeat New Zealand or Australia in recent seasons.

But that drought ended on Saturday with a four-point victory over the Kiwis at the DW Stadium in the Third Test.

The win brought a combination of delight and relief for Graham, one of the veterans of the England set-up, who made his debut for Great Britain way back in 2006.

“It’s a mixture of emotions in terms of your celebrating the win but also the pressure release as well,” the Bulldogs forward said.

“I’ve been there and obviously bitterly disappointed in the last two years but that’s rugby league.

“I think when two good teams come together, or four teams, there has to be a loser.

“A lot of people don’t look at that in sport.

“They just see the winners and they over-analyse what happens in defeat.

“Credit to both teams and credit to us for getting the series win.”

Graham insisted that it was massive for England to have finally won a trophy after several near misses in the Four Nations and World Cup.

“And against a side like the Kiwis,” the front-rower added.

“People will write and say that they were missing some players but so we were, and that’s what happens in international football.

“That’s what happens in international in different sports as well.

“You can only beat what’s in front of you – you can only play with the players that are available.”

England coach Steve McNamara’s contract with England has finished at the end of the series. Graham believes McNamara has done a great job with the national team.

“For me, for the people in charge of England rugby league, it’s a bit of a no-brainer,” the 30-year old said.

“If Steve wants the job I can’t see any reason why he shouldn’t continue in the job.

“Last year we were very close and this year obviously we’ve had a series win.

“So it would be a very odd decision I think to change that.

“I don’t believe there’s a need to change and obviously Macca’s done a great job.”

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