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 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.
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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.
“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.”
You just pick Campbell Graham and Nicho Hynes for NSW first and then decide where to put them, right? And then you make complete sense by putting them both in the starting side - Campbell wing or centre depending on Turbo's fitness. It's not rocket science. #crisis
— Greg Prichard (@gregprichard) April 28, 2023
If Campbell Graham doesn’t get that Blues Jersey for game 1 we will riot !!!!! pic.twitter.com/YvDY4vYKIZ
— The Cast Patrol (@thecastpatrol) April 28, 2023
Campbell Graham joining Nicho Hynes as players that will be very hard for Freddy to ignore this year.
— Braden (@bradenstwit) April 28, 2023
Outstanding defensive performance by the @SSFCRABBITOHS
Huge game from Campbell Graham surely played himself into a blues jersey.
JNR and Tom outstanding off the bench.
Undefeated since moving to Maroubra
— Grant Chaps Chappell (@Chapbra) April 28, 2023
Not sure how Freddy cannot pick Stretch for ORIGIN. Going way too good. #NRLBroncosSouths #CampbellGraham ...hard to leave out od a Kangaroo team at the moment. 🐰🐰🐰
— Rabbitears (@MBeadon) April 28, 2023
There’s absolutely no good reason why Campbell Graham doesn’t get the origin call up, which means we should all start preparing ourselves for the disappointment when Fittler inevitably dogs the boys like he did with JAC last year.
— lavender baj (@lavosaurus) April 28, 2023
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