Wales head coach John Kear has backed up comparisons between young prop Luke Thomas and Super League legend James Graham.
A product of local club Latchford Giants, prop Thomas is now on Warrington’s books. He was recently named in their 21-man squad to take on champions St Helens, which is where Graham made his name.
Thomas is in line to make his full international debut for Wales this weekend against France having also come through the youth groups for the country. Wales coach Kear has praised the youngster they call ‘Jammer’ due to his similarities with the now retired Graham.
“I can see the comparison, he is like a very young James Graham. If he turns out half as good, then he won’t be a bad player, will he?” said Kear.
“I know Warrington think very highly of him. He has come through the Wales player pathway, and the big thing about Luke is his attitude which is unbelievable.
“He was very humble when we first contacted him about this, and he was very enthusiastic which is in his nature. In training, I don’t think he’s got a handbrake which really does please me greatly but I’m not so sure it pleases some of the others he was training with!”
Renowned as one of Super League’s greatest ever, Graham won two Grand Finals and four Challenge Cups with Saints. He also played in Australia with both Canterbury Bulldogs and St George Illawarra Dragons.
Representing Great Britain and England, the Merseyside-born front-rower also racked up over 50 appearances on the international stage. He was part of the England side to lose the 2017 World Cup final to Australia.
Featuring heavily for Warrington’s reserves, there’s no doubt that Thomas will be pleased with the comparisons. Kear added: “Daryl Powell )Wolves coach) was marvellous and Ste Mills – their performance analyst – was too in sending us lots of clips for us to look at of Luke.
“He has already been in the first-team and as the coaching staff there informed me, it came through his work off the field as well as his on-field performances.
“Those are the type of people you want in and around the camp. You want good people with good attitudes who have a great application towards the game.”
Kicking off at 2:30pm UK time, Wales’ clash with France takes place this Sunday. It is at the Stade Municipal in Albi.
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