James Graham to celebrate 400-game milestone for St George Illawarra Dragons against Gold Coast at Kogarah

James Graham will play his 400th first grade game at Kogarah on Saturday. Picture: Adam McLean
James Graham will play his 400th first grade game at Kogarah on Saturday. Picture: Adam McLean

Paul McGregor believes James Graham will leave a legacy at the Dragons as the Englishman prepares for his 400th first grade game.

St George Illawarra host Gold Coast at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium looking to condemn the Titans to the wooden spoon and give themselves some breathing space near the bottom of the table.

The match will be Graham's 400th first grade game. He made his Super League debut for St Helens in 2003 where he went on to play 224 games.

Graham then moved to Australia and made another 135 NRL appearances for Canterbury.

He joined St George Illawarra at the start of last season, with Saturday's game against the Titans Graham's 41st in the red V.

Graham has also played 45 Tests for England and Great Britain, with Dragons coach McGregor labeling the 33-year-old as a once-in-a-generation player.

"He'll tell you it's only one more than 399 [first grade games] but we all know it's a lot more than that. It's a great honour," McGregor said.

"A person that he just inspires others. Everyone that plays rugby league has got a competitive nature and a good footy IQ and certainly a high threshold for pain. But he just takes all that to another level.

"He just helps people around him as well. He's a gentleman. He's a once-in-a-generation player. He's a great person to have involved in the club and he'll leave a legacy here.

"That's got him through a lot of the years, his passion and want to fight for every inch. It's important when you've got leaders of your club that do that and drive others.

"It's a year we haven't wanted but he has not stopped fighting. [Saturday] is a special day for him."

It will also be a special day for Dragons centre Euan Aitken who will play his 100th NRL game.

Jackson Ford has been named to make his first grade debut for the Dragons off the bench.

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