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Inside the NRL: Wayne Bennett weighs in on drugs scandal
Last Updated: 15/05/17 5:16pm
Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL as James Graham reveals future plans and Wayne Bennett has his say on the drug scandal. Plus injury concerns ahead of Origin opener.
James Graham is confident he will remain at the Canterbury Bulldogs next season, but hasn't ruled out a move back to Super League in the future.
The England international says Bulldogs coach Des Hasler informed him that he was part of the clubs plans moving forward.
"I've been speaking to Des and the powers that be," Graham told AAP.
"The way I've interpreted it and what's been suggested to me is that I'm going to be here next year. I'm really happy to be a part of Des' plans."
The club captain has another year left on his contract at Canterbury, but ever since the Bulldogs signed Aaron Woods from the Wests Tigers, reports have suggested Graham would be moved on.
The 31-year old admits he doesn't know where his career will finish, and returning to Super League is a possibility.
"I'm very open minded about where I'm going to end up," Graham said. "There are too many variables and too many different situations that could arise.
"I wouldn't want to set myself up for disappointment if I said I definitely want to stay here or I'm definitely going to go back home."
Bennett on Drug Scandal
England and Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett has backed the NRL's illicit drugs policy, but doesn't believe the NRL will ever be able to eliminate drugs completely.
It was a disastrous week for the NRL after three separate incidents involving players and a chairman taking illicit drugs came to light.
Following these incidents the NRL has warned clubs it will increase testing, but Bennett said the problem will never be solved.
"It's not going to stop," Bennett said. "But I've got confidence in the game. I am more than happy with the procedure and what we do in the game.
"These guys get tested every second day. (But) we're never going to get it perfect."
Origin Injury Concerns
New South Wales hopeful Tom Trbojevic will be sidelined for six to eight weeks, missing the first two State of Origin games.
Trbojevic suffered a double injury in the Sea Eagles' 10-point defeat to Brisbane on Saturday.
The star full-back was helped from the field when he landed awkwardly after a tackle. Scans revealed Trbojevic sustained a syndesmosis injury to his ankle as well as spraining his left knee.
There is better news for Jarryd Hayne. Despite limping from the field late in Gold Coast's 38-36 win over league leaders Melbourne, the Titans full-back-turned-centre isn't expected to miss any games.
"Jarryd's is a bit unusual," Titans coach Neil Henry said. "It's a bit of a nerve problem in his leg. His foot was a bit dead there for a bit but we don't think it was too bad."
NSW coach Laurie Daley will finalise his 19-man squad for Game I at the end of next weekend's round 11 fixtures.
Queensland have concerns of their own after Corey Norman was forced from the field in Parramatta's loss to the Roosters on Sunday.
Norman picked up a suspected medial ligament injury and is expected to miss the next four to six weeks.
"I'm disappointed for him, but I'm also disappointed for our club because at the end of the day he's here to play for Parramatta. He's going to have lots of opportunities to play rep footy, but his priority is Parramatta," Eels coach Brad Arthur said after the game.
In the same game former Wigan centre Dan Sarginson is suspected to have dislocated his shoulder, and will undergo scans this week.
No Union for Cronk
Cooper Cronk has ruled out a move to rugby union. There has been a lot of speculation since the Melbourne half-back announced his decision to move to Sydney next season for personal reasons.
Some reports had linked Cronk with a move to Super Rugby's New South Wales Waratahs, but when asked he responded: "That won't be happening. That's fair to say - categorically.
"Everyone has their right to an opinion but I haven't had any conversation with rugby union and I have no intention.
"I did play a bit of rugby at school and thoroughly enjoyed it and I watch rugby, and played with some of the current Wallabies players.
"But I love rugby league. It has given me everything I have in my life."
The Queensland and Australia representative insists he will make a decision soon, but won't be rushed.
"I know you guys want to know and out of respect I will have the answer for you at some stage but until that day comes we can just keep walking around in circles," Cronk said.
"I will have an answer for you at some stage. I need to make a smart decision and that won't happen overnight."