Graham will do whatever’s required. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images
Graham will do whatever’s required. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Graham ready to cover Cook

WADE Graham is preparing to play dummy-half for the first time in six years as cover for Kangaroos teammate Damien Cook.

With Australian coach Mal Meninga overlooking Ben Hunt in favour of a four-man forward rotation, Graham will spend some time at hooker if Cook needs a spell or gets injured against Tonga on Saturday night.

The five-eighth turned back-rower can only recall playing at hooker once - that was off the bench for City against Country in 2013.

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"I'll cover for Cooky," Graham said. "He hadn't had a run in a while last week so he will be ready for the run. He might be able to push out the 80 which allows Mal to have a four forward rotation with cover as well.

"I get in at training and practice passing out of there. If that ends up being my role I'll be comfortable. My first time playing (hooker) for City. I was on the bench covering and something happened and I ended up playing hooker for about 40 minutes.

"It is a foreign position for me but I'm sure I can get in there and give good service and listen to Cherry (Daly Cherry-Evans) and (Cameron) Munster and pass it to Teddy (James Tedesco)."

Meninga's four-forward rotation will help Australia try and combat the big Tongan team with Cameron Murray getting his first Test start.

The Cronulla man is excited to be back with the Kangaroos. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
The Cronulla man is excited to be back with the Kangaroos. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

For Graham his return to Test football last week had capped a rollercoaster season. He fought his way back from a knee reconstruction to be picked for NSW helping them win the series while his club side Cronulla struggled to find their feet.

"It's been a weird one," Graham said. "There was uncertainty how I was going to come back from such a big injury. It's a long rehab process. I went through that. A couple of games in Freddy (Brad Fittler) picked me for the Blues. It kickstarted me to where I left the game before I got injured.

"We couldn't find traction at the Sharks. We were inconsistent … I'm pumped to be back for Australia."

News Corp Australia


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