Suspended NSW player Wade Graham refuses to accept that his State of Origin dream is over, despite Blues coach Laurie Daley voicing such fears.
A devastated Graham fronted the media in Coffs Harbour on Thursday less than 24 hours after failing to beat a high tackle charge at the NRL judiciary that denied him an Origin debut.
With first-choice second-rower Boyd Cordner a chance of returning for game three, Daley admitted on Wednesday night that Graham may never get an opportunity to nab his first Blues jumper again.
But the Cronulla star didn’t want to believe it.
“I can’t really afford to look at it like that,” Graham said before joining his Blues teammates for a field session on Thursday morning.
“For me to move forward, I have to dream to play again and get back to Cronulla, be determined to play well and to be here the next time the team’s selected.
“That’s the way I’m looking at it. I haven’t looked at it any other way since the ruling.”
The 25-year-old boarded a flight in Sydney with his replacement in Tyson Frizell, and while he was disappointed to be ruled out of Origin, was ready to be of help for the rest of the camp in Coffs Harbour.
Graham said he had accepted his fate.
“The reality has sunk in that I won’t be playing in the game,” he said.
“So I’m grateful for being back up into camp, I’ll enjoy the next few days and help out the best I can around here and help the boys prepare and I can’t wait to watch them play now on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t hard (getting back on the plane) to tell you the truth. I was looking forward to coming back into camp.”