St George Illawarra Dragons, James Graham, sacked, released, axed, let go, parted ways, coaches, Peter Gentle, Mathew Head

The Dragons’ coaching clean-out has continued with the club letting go NRL great James Graham from his role mentoring the club’s elite pathways.

Speaking on Triple M’s Saturday Scrum on Saturday, Graham admitted to being “blindsided” by the call.

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“I had a role there with the Dragons when I came back from England, which was spread across a wide variety of areas, on and off the field,” Graham said.

“I was told that the role would no longer be continued and that they were going to put that money into the sales department.

“I was blindsided by it, I was, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t see it coming. But I’ve had time to digest the news and look for other opportunities. I was disappointed, but if that’s the direction the club wants to go then [so be it].

“They said that role will no longer exist because my role was so varied. It was kind of ambassadorship, into pathways, mentoring some junior forwards, I had a role with the firsts team in the pre-season where I did contact work and some talk about leadership and what it means to be a first grader and the game day experience stuff… the role I have been told is no longer there.”

Graham is a hugely respected figure in the game, but the former England captain became the third St George Illawarra staffer to be axed in the past fortnight.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin decided to part ways with his assistant coaches Peter Gentle and Mathew Head last week.

James Graham at the Dragons.Source: Supplied


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But the trio showed the door having agreed to see out the remainder of the season, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Graham is reportedly now setting his sights on working for England at the World Cup at the end of the year.

Graham has also worked at the club in a corporate executive role this season, where his profile was a major lure for sponsors.

The 36-year-old played 423 first grade games in the Super League and NRL, while also representing England 44 times.

Graham has a strong influence in rugby league, with high-profile media roles on Fox League and Triple M.

The former Bulldogs and Dragons player was reportedly shocked by the club’s decision to let him go.

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