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Cronulla Sharks, Wests Tigers, Wade Graham, Benji Marshall, coaching


Sharks captain Wade Graham plans to head down the path of rugby league coaching — and he’s sent Benji Marshall a cheeky message.

Almost a month after Marshall was announced as Wests Tigers’ head coach from 2025, Graham has revealed he’s working through his coaching accreditation with the 37-year-old.

Graham doesn’t have an NRL contract beyond this season and, although he’s in talks with Cronulla to sign a new deal, the 31-year-old is readying himself for life after football.

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“I’m doing my (coaching) accreditation now with Benji Marshall. He’s already got a job. I might get him to hook me up and try to be one of his assistants (at the Tigers) over the years,” Graham said with a laugh.

“It’s certainly an option. I do enjoy that part of the game.”

Graham has played 270 NRL games with the Panthers and Sharks.

He was a member of the Cronulla side that defeated Melbourne in the 2016 grand final.

The utility has also represented New South Wales and Australia.

“I don’t sense that I’ve lost my love for the game or my passion for the game, so it would be crazy as a 32-, 33-, 34-year-old to, in my opinion, go and try something completely different (after my playing days),” Graham said.

“This is what I know, so I’d just stick at it and hopefully be able to give the game back something after all these years of service.”

Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

Why Sheens has faith in Benji the coach

A rejuvenated Sharks outfit is gunning for the club’s second NRL title.

In his first season as a head coach, Craig Fitzgibbon has Cronulla sitting in third ahead of round 22.

Graham isn’t thinking more than one year ahead.

“We’ll go one year at a time. I’m comfortable with one year and then you never know,” he’s said.

“If I get to this stage next year and I’m still feeling good, we’ll see how we go.”

Graham’s checkered history with head knocks could see him retire earlier than he once anticipated.

Roosters legends Jake Friend and Boyd Cordner retired prematurely in 2021 due to severe battles with concussion.

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