James Graham wants to coach after he retires

James Graham has revealed he fancies following big pal Keiron Cunningham into coaching.

Whether that is at St Helens or in Australia, though, remains to be seen.

The Canterbury Bulldogs star captained England in their Four Nations opener against Samoa on Saturday, in Sean O’Loughlin’s absence.

Now he has admitted for the first time that he is on the road to following Cunningham and becoming a boss.

Graham said: “I really want to coach and I’m halfway through my level two coaching course.

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“I need to get that finished because it’s a big ambition of mine to get into coaching. Whether that will be back in England or here in Australia is yet to be seen.

“Where my life is at the time will dictate those type of things.

“But I’m really pleased for Kezza on getting the coach’s job. He’s an absolute legend of the club.

“I’m disappointed to see Nathan Brown chose to come back here. That’s his choice, but I think he’s done a great job at St Helens on bringing the youngsters through.

“Keiron’s got a lot of passion. I read he thinks he’s not the finished article, but he’s never backed down from a challenge before. I’m really excited to see how he goes as a first team coach.”

Graham is committed to Canterbury for at least the next four seasons after signing a new deal, and his immediate aim is to finally beat that Grand Final hoodoo.

He has made clear that if he ever comes back to Super League it will be with St Helens, who he cheered to Old Trafford glory from his home in the early hours of the morning.

However, he is not giving away any clues about whether he will be in the red vee again – largely because he does not know himself.

The 29-year-old added: “I’m not sure. That’s what makes it exciting.

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“You don’t know where you’re going to end up. I’ve signed for another four years out here and that will take me to my 33rd birthday.

“I’ll assess it then. There’s a part of me who would love to stay at Canterbury for the rest of my career. And there’s part of me who would love to go back and play for St Helens.

“But Saints might not want me. I’m not a person who says ‘I’ll be 33 so I’m coming back to play at Saints.’

“It is not fair for me to say that. The club will have moved on and I don’t know where my life will be in four years time.”

At the forefront of Graham’s thoughts, however, is England’s tussle with Australia on Sunday at Melbourne.

And he admits he has been refreshed by working alongside some of Steve McNamara’s younger players, not least Daryl Clark and Josh Hodgson, even though it is strange not having James Roby packing down alongside him.

He said: “Pretty much every Test I have played, James has been there.

“But coming in with these new lads in the squad has really helped me – like learning to play off Daryl and Josh.

“It’s quite refreshing. I’ve a good feeling about it. The lads are great and mixing together well. It’s been a great camp.”