Royce Simmons calls on players to replace James Graham

James Graham
Graham's last match in a Saints shirt was October's Grand Final defeat by Leeds

St Helens coach Royce Simmons says he has enough quality in his squad to cover the loss of forward James Graham.

Joint-captain Graham left the club at the end of last season to join Canterbury Bulldogs in the NRL.

"Someone in there has got to take up where James Graham left off," Simmons told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"We've got Josh Perry, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Anthony Laffranchi and that challenge is out there to those boys to play the long minutes."

New Zealand international Lance Hohaia begins training with his new team-mates this week after joining from New Zealand Warriors.

Simmons admits that it will be a big year for the 28-year-old, who is recovering from a knee injury.

"He's a month behind the rest of the lads because he needed an operation," said Simmons.

"The operation was better being done by a surgeon he knows and has worked with before.

"They're very happy with the surgery and it went really well.

"He was due to come over on 12 December, but he's coming a week early, so he's a week ahead of schedule.

"It is going to be a change for Lance. He's got to get used to being over here in England for a start.

"But it's going to be new for him to play at scrum-half or half-back, instead of hooker or full-back."

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