Campbell Graham display lights up NRL world amid State of Origin debate

The South Sydney centre is making an irresistible case for selection in Brad Fittler's NSW side.

Campbell Graham, pictured here in action for South Sydney against Brisbane.
Campbell Graham had three tries and an assist for South Sydney against Brisbane. Image: Getty/Channel 9

Campbell Graham has made his latest irresistible case for State of Origin selection, scoring a hat-trick for South Sydney in their thrashing of Brisbane on Friday night. The Rabbitohs centre scored three tries and set up another as Souths ran out 32-6 winners at Suncorp Stadium.

With doubts surrounding the fitness of Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic, Graham continues to push his case for selection in Brad Fittler's NSW team. With three tries on Friday night, the centre took his tally to a league-leading 11 on the season.

'GRUBBY STUFF': Latrell Mitchell under fire over ugly incident

'INCREDIBLY HARD': Paul Vautin's tribute to late father in commentary

Graham scored his first try of the night when he raced through and claimed a kick from Lachlan Ilias before beating Reece Walsh to score. He then stood up a number of defenders in a solo effort to score his second from a scrum, before Taane Milne set him up for his hat-trick.

But his best touch of the night was arguably his try assist for Cody Walker. Graham produced a beautiful inside pass to send Walker through the line to score the match-sealing try in the second half.

The 23-year-old's latest masterclass has intensified calls for Fittler to pick Graham in his NSW side. Graham made his international debut for the Kangaroos at last year's World Cup, playing on the wing in Mal Meninga's side.

With Josh Addo-Carr out injured and Trbojevic battling a number of niggles, Graham could line up at either centre or wing for NSW. "It's background noise at the moment and I'm trying to keep it as background noise," he said after Souths' fourth-straight win pushed them within two points of the Broncos at the top of the ladder.

"I know those opportunities will come if I just play good footy for Souths. That World Cup experience was great for me and my development, but it's just a result of the coaching I'm getting here at Souths and their game plans. I've been lucky to cross for a few tries, but it's off the back of the boys running that great shape."

NRL world calling for Campbell Graham in State of Origin

Souths captain and NSW back-rower Cameron Murray said it's time for Graham to be rewarded with State of Origin selection. "He's playing good footy, one of those teammates you love running out next to and can trust," Murray said.

"I've been saying that for a while now. I think he's earnt it. He's doing everything right, it's up to the selectors."

Speaking on Fox Sports, Queensland great Cooper Cronk said: “Latrell has got one spot (at centre for NSW). If Turbo is not fit then Campbell Graham absolutely.

Graham Campbell, pictured here celebrating with Rabbitohs teammates after a try against the Broncos.
Graham Campbell celebrates with Rabbitohs teammates after a try against the Broncos. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

“He might be in line for a wing spot as well. He is big, physical and reliable.

"Campbell Graham would do it justice. He has represented his country and played really well in the World Cup under Mal Meninga. Graham has been sensational and deserves the opportunity to represent his state.”

Gorden Tallis said Graham “wouldn’t look out of place” in a sky blue jumper. “He’s a typical Origin player - he’s tough, uncompromising, and it’s the guy you don’t notice,” Tallis said.

“When you start watching him, he doesn’t make mistakes, he’s always in the action. He goes just in case he’s needed, not because he’s needed. Every collision he’s in, even the tries are around him, the offloads he gets. He’s just got everything you need. He does everything to a level his teammates would love.”

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.