Graham wary of rampant Roma

England enforcer James Graham expects Canterbury Bulldogs teammate Curtis Rona to make an impact for New Zealand in the upcoming Test series.

Rona enjoyed an outstanding NRL season in 2015 after arriving from North Queensland.

The 23-year old bagged 23 tries in just 25 games, posting a lethal threat on the Bulldogs’ flank.

Rona has an impressive try-scoring rate of 29 tries in just 32 NRL appearances.

“Curtis really took his chance with the club,” Graham said.

“He’s been excellent all year, some of the finishes that he’s pulled off on the wing, it goes to the video ref and I’m thinking ‘I can’t imagine him getting it down’.

“But lo and behold he does. He’s a great player.”

Rona has been named in the Kiwis’ squad for the first time and is aiming to make his Test debut.

The Waitara-born, Perth-raised flyer will likely be competing with Bronco Jordan Kahu for a spot on the wing for New Zealand.

St George Illawarra Dragons veteran Jason Nightingale is expected to hold down one wing spot, but there is a position open with Warrior Manu Vatuvei unavailable through injury.

Rona was not named in the Kiwis’ squad for their warm-up game against Leeds Rhinos.

Graham believes the 195cm, 105kg outside back is up to the task of making the transition to international football.

“I know he’s in the squad but if he’s selected into the team, I can’t imagine [why not],” the prop said.

“Curtis is there for a reason because he’s played so well so I can only presume he puts that level of performance when he puts on that New Zealand jersey.”

England face New Zealand in the series opener in Hull on November 1.

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