Brutal James Graham truth after sacking by Dragons: 'P****s me off'

·Contributor
·2-min read
James Graham has forged a successful career in the media and with the Dragons after retiring from rugby league. Pic: Fox Sports
James Graham has forged a successful career in the media and with the Dragons after retiring from rugby league. Pic: Fox Sports

James Graham has revealed he was "blindsided and disappointed" by St George Illawarra's decision to cut him from a senior coaching and marketing role as the bloodletting continues at the embattled joint venture club.

The former Dragons, Bulldogs and England prop will follow assistant coaches Peter Gentle and Mathew Head out the door at season's end after being told his position as a pathways coach and corporate/marketing executive would be made redundant.

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"Basically, I was told that the role would no longer be continued and that they were going to put that money into the sales department,' Graham told Triple M on Saturday.

"They said that role will no longer exist.

"I was blindsided by it - I'm not going to lie - I didn't see it coming.

"I've had time to digest the news and look for other opportunities (but) I was disappointed.

"But if that's the direction that the club want to go then (so be it)."

Seen here, James Graham celebrates his 400th game of rugby league during a Dragons game in 2019.
James Graham became a club icon for the Dragons after playing his final game with NRL club in 2020. Pic: Getty

James Graham move 'beggars belief'

Part of Graham's role was to mentor the club's young forwards, holding pre-season camps and guiding them through the season proper.

In addition, the former international was a popular Dragons ambassador used regularly to speak at corporate events and help maintain and acquire sponsors.

"I was someone that could go and talk about the club in a positive light, which admittedly has been difficult the past couple of seasons," Graham said.

Tripe M host Tony Squires, a lifelong Dragons fan and someone that has worked closely with Graham in the media and at corporate events, said: "This totally pisses me off, if I'm being honest with you.

"If I was to build somebody to do that sort of job in my club, I would piece by piece put James Graham together.

"When he speaks, people stop and listen because he's got something to say.

"To me as a St George Illawarra fan, it beggars belief."

The Dragons have not made the play-offs since 2018 and will disappear from this year's finals race if they lose to neighbour Cronulla in Saturday night's local derby at PointsBet Stadium.

Coach Anthony Griffin will be under enormous pressure heading into the final year of his deal in 2023.

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