There’s still some way to go before the Bulldogs are actually forced to shed players (including a meeting with the NRL and RLPA on Thursday), but if captain James Graham gets the tap on the shoulder, he’s at least open to (if not enthusiastic about) the idea of moving on.
Speaking on NRL 360, Graham was realistic about the situation, and appears to realise that his days at Belmore may be numbered.
“I’ve got a year left at Canterbury, and I was hoping to play a few more years yet – and hopefully, all being well, at Canterbury,” Graham said. “But I’m not naive enough to think that’s a guarantee.”
“If it came to a point where there’s no deal at Canterbury; and retire, or move somewhere else and continue playing, and I feel if I want to continue playing, then the answer is yes (I’ll move).”
That should come as some relief to the Bulldogs, who’ve reportedly been shopping around various players, including Graham, in an effort to make room on their roster for signings Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods, and getting lukewarm responses at best.
There are no shortage of options for Graham, with both the Knights and Warriors reportedly interested, and if he’s prepared to move on, then Graham at least gives them a viable option to release. It’s unlikely he’d be their first choice, but with little wiggle room and no leverage, they mightn’t have a choice.