By Buford Balony
Wests Tigers will use their star Pommy forward Gareth Ellis to lure England captain James Graham to Concord for 2012.
Wests Tigers chief executive Stephen Humphreys met with the St Helens star during the recent Four Nations.
Asked would his club use Ellis to attract Graham, Humphreys said, “Your instincts are right.
“Having Gareth certainly won’t be a disadvantage for us.
“Gareth has had a good experience at our club and that will certainly help”.
Graham is committed to St Helens for next year but is keen to join Ellis and Souths’ Sam Burgess in the NRL for 2012. Former Wests Tigers assistant coach Royce Simmons is now coach of St Helens, who desperately want to retain Graham.
“James is an impressive guy who has a genuine interest in playing in the NRL at some point,” Humphreys said.
“There wasn’t a lot of depth to our conversation.
“It was more a chance to get to know him and establish a relationship with him.
“It is something we can build on over time. But I don’t think we are exclusive – I think a lot of clubs will express an interest in James.”
Graham has engaged the services of Australian-based manager David Riolo.
“I have spoken to Sam and Gareth about it,” Graham said recently. “They love it.”
Buford Balony says: Where else would you want to go, the Tigers rule.