James Graham given ‘open door access’ to St Helens training as Paul Wellens explains reasoning

ST HELENS legend James Graham has been given ‘open door access’ to Saints training whilst Paul Wellens and his squad are in Australia for the World Club Challenge.

Saints will take on the St George Illawarra Dragons this weekend as part of the Pre-Season Challenge, with Graham experiencing both clubs in his time as a player.

And Wellens has explained why the former flame-haired enforcer has been given an open door policy.

“James came to the training session this morning and he is a really good friend, not just a former teammate,” Wellens said.

“I have given him an open door for access to our training environment so he can come and go as he pleases.

“He is a great guy and one the lads have a huge amount of respect for – not simply because of what he achieved in the game in the NRL but what he did at St Helens before that.”

Wellens believes that the impact that Graham can have on Saints’ squad will stand the Merseyside club in good stead ahead of their NRL challenge.

“There are lads, who would not have known James before he came to the club in 2020, but in that short space of time he had such a big impact on them.

“Their respect for him grew off the back of that so it is great to have him around and when he turned up, the way lads embrace him when walks in shows that respect.

“That is especially on players like Morgan Knowles, Matty Lees and others. He is always a point of contact for me when it comes to asking about the game, particularly the NRL.

“When he comes into our environment, he is one of those few players who can be an inspiration by not doing very much, simply because they know what he is like as a player.

“That is the reason behind that open door policy with him – the impact he can have on the players.”