Graham aiming for Grand Final appearance

Sam Burgess is one of the men standing in the way of his England team-mate James Graham and back-to-back Grand Final appearances in both hemispheres.

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Graham aiming for Grand Final appearance
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James Graham when with St Helens

South Sydney's former Bradford prop Burgess will go head to head with Canterbury Bulldogs' ex-St Helens front rower Graham in Saturday's NRL preliminary final at Sydney's ANZ Stadium in front of a crowd tipped to hit 70,000.

It is a return to the ground where the pair had to be separated following a heated exchange in June when the Bulldogs beat the Rabbitohs 23-18. Burgess is hoping to reach the NRL Grand Final at his third attempt while Graham is in his first season in Australia after bowing out of St Helens in last October's Super League Grand Final.

Whatever the result, the September 30 Grand Final is guaranteed a first English presence since Adrian Morley, the current Warrington captain, helped Sydney Roosters win the 2002 title.

Sam's older brother Luke, formerly with Leeds, is also with Souths while Halifax-born stand-off Gareth Widdop will be playing for Melbourne in Friday's first preliminary final against Manly Sea Eagles at AAMI Park.

Morley is one of 19 Englishmen to have played in an Australian Grand Final and one of only 10 winners.

The others are Dick Huddart (St George, 1966), Dave Bolton (Balmain, 1969), Malcolm Reilly (Manly 1972-73), Phil Lowe (Manly, 1976), Gary Stephens (Manly, 1976), Steve Norton (Manly, 1976), Kevin Ward (Manly, 1987), Lee Jackson (Newcastle, 1997) and Harvey Howard (Brisbane, 2000).

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