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James Graham to face NRL disciplinary hearing after allegation he bit Billy Slater's ear in NRL Grand Final
10:02am Monday 1st October 2012 in News
FORMER Saints prop James Graham is set to face a disciplinary hearing into an allegation that he bit the ear of Billy Slater during Australia’s NRL Grand Final.
The ex-Saints captain, now with Canterbury Bulldogs, could be banned for a minimum of eight matches if he is found guilty of the offence.
The allegation has put him at the centre of a media storm Down Under.
Maghull-born Graham was put on report after Melbourne full-back Slater, widely regarded as one of the world’s best players, made the allegation during his side's 14-4 win over the Bulldogs.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that Graham - who played his junior rugby in St Helens before developing at Knowsley Road into one of the world's leading prop forwards - has been referred to the judiciary on an ungraded contrary conduct charge
The newspaper stated that he has been referred on an ungraded charge, reflecting the severity of the allegation.
Graham, 27, who has enjoyed an outstanding first season in the NRL, was one of four players charged after a 26th minute melee spilled over the sideline.
The brawl was sparked when full back Slater slid into Sam Perrett as he tried to prevent the Bulldogs winger from scoring.
Canterbury centre Krisnan Inu pushed Slater and a fracas ensued. Separate scraps broke out and Graham began grappling with Slater.
Slater made an on-field complaint to referee Tony Archer, who acknowledged there was blood around the player’s left ear.
Graham is due to join England next week for a training camp in South Africa. A suspension would rule him out of their autumn international matches against France and Wales.