WATCH out Wagga –Canterbury’s explosive English recruit James Graham is about to rock Equex Centre to its foundations.
Southcity captain-coach Daniel Fitzhenry delivered the prediction yesterday ahead of Graham’s much-anticipated NRL debut for the Bulldogs in Wagga tomorrow night.
Fitzhenry and Graham were Super League rivals at Hull KR and St Helens respectively in 2008-09 and he has the utmost regard for the English prop.
“(Graham’s) a really good player,” Fitzhenry enthused yesterday.
“He’s a bit of everything ... he’s got a phenomenal work-rate.
“He was a standout in Super League when I was over there.
“One year he made something like 1000 metres.”
Signed for three years by Canterbury, Graham is set to headline the Bulldogs against the Raiders at Equex Centre tomorrow night.
Graham’s appearance in the NRL trial deserves star-billing, according to Fitzhenry.
“I’ve got no idea how long he’ll (Graham) be out there, but he’ll definitely make an impression,” the former Wests Tigers star said.
Although thrilled to have a chance to catch Graham’s first game for the Bulldogs, Fitzhenry is adamant there are drawcards across the field in both teams.
“For starters, there’s two brilliant fullbacks (Josh Dugan and Ben Barba),” Fitzhenry said.
“They’re both great attacking players.
“They should be enough on their own to get bums on seats.”
The mouth-watering duel between Dugan and Barba brings two of the biggest names in the NRL into direct confrontation on a totally neutral venue.
As much as Fitzhenry is relishing the prospect of the Dugan-Barba scrap, he is also excited at the potential for fireworks in the forwards.
Fitzhenry yesterday zeroed in on barnstorming Bulldogs second-rower Frank Pritchard and rampaging Raiders counterpart Bronson Harrison.
“Pritchard’s a big hitter and runs the ball with enormous power,” Fitzhenry said.
“Bronson Harrison’s a lot of like Pritchard.
“He comes up with the big hits, too, and really goes forward with the ball.”
Harrison was a Wests Tigers teammate of Fitzhenry before joining the Raiders in 2009, while Pritchard had eight years at Penrith before switching to the Bulldogs last year.
Pritchard and Harrison are both Kiwi internationals and two of the heaviest hitters in game.
In the backs, Fitzhenry yesterday labelled Raiders playmaker Terry Campese as a definite danger to the Bulldogs.
“He’ll (Campese) be looking to have a big season,” Fitzhenry said.
“He barely got any minutes last year because of injuries.”
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