RUGBY : England prop James Graham is happy to postpone his holiday plans for another week to give everything in pursuit of Gillette Four Nations glory.
England prop James Graham is happy to postpone his holiday plans for another week to give everything in pursuit of Gillette Four Nations glory.
Graham was part of the outstanding pack that laid the foundations for England’s 20-12 win over New Zealand at Huddersfield on Saturday, a result which secured their place in this weekend’s final against Australia.
“We hung in there and battled hard on our own line and came away with the victory,” said Graham. “Now we’re in the final and hopefully we can continue this week. It’s another 80 minutes and then it’s off on holiday for a lot of the lads. It’s just 80 minutes of your life, you just have to sacrifice everything for that this week, and then hopefully we’ll be smiling this time next week.”
Graham was one of four regular front-rowers to start at the Galpharm Stadium as he and Adrian Morley were backed up by Jamie Peacock and Sam Burgess.
With Eorl Crabtree and Ben Westwood ensuring there was also plenty of forward muscle on the bench, coach Tony Smith’s rookie half-back pairing of Kyle Eastmond and Sam Tomkins received plenty of protection.
“We went with a big pack and it did seem to work well,” added Graham. “I think the days of the old juggernaut prop are gone now and people are showing their flexibility playing in the back row and at loose forward.
“It’s great to be playing alongside such a brilliant pack of forwards and I just hope I can add to them in any little way I can.
“Hopefully Tony and the rest of the coaching staff will come up with a gameplan and if we implement it, I don’t see any reason why we can’t win.”