25 October 1990 |
Blacktown, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||186 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||96 kg (15 st 2 lb)|
|Position||Second-row, Five-eighth, Lock|
Wade Graham (born 25 October 1990) is a rugby league footballer who currently plays for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the National Rugby League. Graham previously played for the Penrith Panthers between 2008-2010 and primarily plays as a second-rower, five-eighth and lock. Graham is a New South Wales State of Origin, City Origin and Indigenous All Stars representative. Graham is of Indigenous Australian descent.
Born in Blacktown, New South Wales, Graham played his junior rugby league for Blacktown City and attended The Hills Sports High School before being signed by the Penrith Panthers. Graham played for New South Wales Under 16's and 18's, as well as the Panthers Harold Matthews and SG Ball teams. Graham started the 2008 season in the NYC for the Penrith Panthers before being called up to the first-grade squad, still as a 17-year-old in high school.
In Round 15 of the 2008 NRL season, Graham was called up to make his NRL debut for the Penrith Panthers at five-eighth against the St George Illawarra Dragons in the 13-12 loss at ANZ Stadium. Graham finished his debut year in the NRL with him playing in 8 matches for the Panthers in the 2008 NRL season.
In Round 4 against the Wests Tigers, Graham scored his first NRL career try in the Panthers 42-22 win at Penrith Stadium. Graham finished the 2009 NRL season with him playing in 22 matches and scoring 5 tries for the Panthers.
On 24 June 2010, Graham signed with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks starting from 2011 with a desire to play regular first-grade football from the preference for the halves combinations of Travis Burns and Luke Walsh by the Penrith coach Matthew Elliot limited the number of games he could have played. Graham finished the 2010 NRL season with him playing in 12 matches and scoring 4 tries for the Panthers.
In Round 1 of the 2011 NRL season, Graham made his club debut for the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks against the Canberra Raiders at halfback in the Sharks 40-12 loss at Canberra Stadium. In Round 4 against the New Zealand Warriors at Owen Delany Park in Taupo, New Zealand, Graham scored his first club try for the Sharks in the 26-18 loss. Graham finished the 2011 NRL season with him playing in all the Sharks 24 matches, scoring 6 tries and kicking 2 field goals.
On 26 May 2012, Graham extended his contract with the Sharks for a further two seasons to the end of the 2014 season. Graham finished the 2012 NRL season with played in 15 matches and scoring 6 tries for the Sharks.
On 29 April 2013, Graham was among the first of many Sharks players to be interviewed by ASADA, however he caused controversy by attending the interview in casual attire. Graham was selected for the NSW City team in the 2013 City vs Country Origin match off the interchange bench in City's 18-12 loss in Coffs Harbour. In Round 17 against the Wests Tigers, Graham played 100th NRL career match, scoring a try in the Sharks 36-22 win at Remondis Stadium. Graham finished the 2013 NRL season with him playing in 23 matches and scoring 2 tries for the Sharks.
In February 2014, Graham was selected in the Sharks inaugural 2014 Auckland Nines squad. On 14 April 2014, Graham extended his contract with the Sharks for another 3 years to the end of the 2017 season after knocking back a $500,000 a season offer from the South Sydney Rabbitohs. On 22 August 2014, Graham became one of the Sharks players to accept reduced bans from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority for his role in the 2011 Sharks supplements scandal. Graham finished off the 2014 NRL season with him playing 19 matches and scoring 5 tries for the Sharks.
On 31 January and 1 February, Graham captained the Sharks in the 2015 NRL Auckland Nines, after Luke Lewis, who was originally named captain, was ruled out with injury. On 3 May, Graham captained the New South Wales City team against the New South Wales Country team, playing at second-row in City's 34-22 loss at Wagga Wagga. He co-captained the Sharks alongside Michael Ennis for a period while the Sharks regular captain Paul Gallen was injured. Graham finished the 2015 season having played in all of the Sharks 26 matches and scoring 4 tries. On 15 December, he was named in the interchange bench for the Indigenous All Stars team to play against the NRL All Stars team on 13 February 2016.
On 13 January 2016, Graham was named in the emerging New South Wales Blues squad. On 13 February 2016, Graham played for the Indigenous All Stars against the NRL All Stars, playing off the interchange bench in the 12-8 loss at Suncorp Stadium.
Graham made his debut New South Wales in game 3 of the 2016 State of Origin series. After originally meant to debut in Game 2 but was suspended due to high tackle on Jonathan Thurston in the Sharks 13-10 win over the North Queensland Cowboys.
On October 2nd Graham created history with the Sharks, winning the 2016 grand final to claim the clubs first ever premiership.
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- Brad Walter. "Cronulla Sharks players accept doping bans". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
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- "Teams named for NRL All Stars match". NRL.com. 2015-12-15. Retrieved 2015-12-21.
- Chris Garry (13 February 2016). "World All Stars defeat Indigenous All Stars 12-8 at Suncorp Stadium". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 February 2016.