Super League club want retirement U-turn from former Australia and Origin star – reports

Josh McAllister
Wade Graham, Super League, NRL, Catalans Dragons

Wade Graham runs on for the first half during the NRL elimination final between the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks and the Sydney Roosters. Photo by AAP Image/Mark Evans.

Catalans Dragons are reportedly trying to attempt Wade Graham to perform a U-turn on his retirement decision to join the Super League side for 2024. 

That’s according to Catalan Media, with the French outfit having one last push to persuade the former Australia international to continue his playing career.

The NRL veteran announced that he would be hanging up the boots at the end of the season earlier in August, with Cronulla Sharks having been knocked out of the finals by Sydney Roosters 13-12.

It marked the 32-year-old captain’s last game in the competition, just three appearances short of 300 after a stellar 16-year career Down Under.

He announced his retirement decision in front of former and current team-mates during an event to celebrate his 250th game for the Sharks, having made the move to the club in 2011.

Graham made his NRL debut with Penrith Panthers in 2008 against St George Illawarra Dragons.

He is only the third player to have reached 250 games for the club, with only Gallen and Andrew Ettingshausen the other two, and won the NRL Grand Final in 2016 against Melbourne Storm.

Wade Graham on France move

The 2017 Australia World Cup winner previously stated that he would consider a Super League stint in the south of France. His partner is a French-speaking Canadian, with himself also a French speaker.

Graham, who represented New South Wales six times in State of Origin, was reportedly in talks with Steve McNamara’s side about a move for 2023 before signing a one-year extension in the NRL.

Negotiating his own contracts during his career, Graham admitted that Alex Chan of Catalans had reached out before other Super League clubs got in touch after hearing his interest in a possible move.

“I’ve already had a few conversations with the UK teams,” Graham previously old James Graham’s The Bye Round Podcast.

“Catalans, Alex Chan reached out and he’s a footy manager over there, so I’ve already spoken to those teams; and a couple of English Super League teams once they heard Catalans were interested.

“They just contacted me to say if I wasn’t actually thinking about going over to the UK that before I decide anything, they’d like the opportunity for me to hear them out.”