St George Illawarra Dragons, James Graham, fired, released, abolished, let go, broke up, coaches, Peter Gentle, Mathew Head

The Dragons’ coaching clean-up has continued, with the club relinquishing NRL great James Graham from his role as mentor of the club’s elite trails.

Talk about Triple M’s Saturday Scrum on Saturday, Graham admitted he was “blindsided” by the call.

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“I had a part there with the Dragons when I came back from England, which was spread over a lot of different areas, on and off the pitch,” said Graham.

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

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

“They said that role would no longer exist because my role was so varied. It was kind of an ambassadorship, in trails, mentoring some junior forwards, I had a role on the first team in the preseason where I connected with work and talked about leadership and what it means to be a first division and going through things on race day… the role I was told is no longer there.”

Graham is a hugely respected figure in the game, but the former England captain will become the third St George Illawarra staffer to be sacked in the past two weeks.

Dragons coach Anthony Griffin decided to say goodbye to his assistant coaches Peter Gentle and Mathew Head last week.

James Graham at the Dragons.Source: Delivered

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But the trio who were shown the door have agreed to watch out for the rest of the season, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Graham is now reportedly working for England during the World Cup at the end of the year.

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

The 36-year-old has made 423 first division appearances 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 in 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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