Cronulla star Wade Graham is eyeing a return to the NRL next week from a hamstring injury.Incumbent New South Wales forward Wade Graham is confident of missing just one game due to a hamstring strain as he eyes the State of Origin opener.
Likely Blues halfback James Maloney has even tossed up Graham’s name as an obscure five-eighth option for the June 6 opener, despite Graham admitting the injury could keep him on the sidelines.
In Brisbane to promote this weekend’s NRL Indigenous Round, Graham wants to play at least two full games for the Sharks to assure his fitness for the Origin opener.
“It’s a little strain and the same injury (from earlier in the season), so not ideal and pretty frustrating,” he said.
“I’d love to say that I would be right (for Origin) but I’ve got to get through a couple of games at Cronulla.
“If I can get through a couple of 80-minute performances I’d love to be there in game one but you can’t rush it can you?
“I’m trying to be positive but will have to let it take its course.”
Graham said if he didn’t come good there were a host of viable options to take his place, with St George Illawarra enforcer Tariq Sims front of the queue.
“He’s playing well, he’d do a great job, probably in the middle with Boyd (Cordner) on the left edge,” Graham said.
“He’s playing tremendous footy and he’s putting his hand up for selection along with a number of boys at the Dragons – the (Jack) De Belins and we know what Friz (Tyson Frizell) can do.”
Maloney looks certain to wear the No.7 for the Blues this series and has floated Graham’s name as an unlikely option to partner him in the halves.
Chuffed to hear the endorsement, Graham says if he’s fit he’d be happy to slot in.
“I might have to go and start practising some kicking,” he laughed.
“But I’m comfortable in any role, have spent some time there and I’m happy to do whatever role the team needs if I can just need to get these injuries right.”