Dragon Graham confident of facing Bunnies

James Graham is confident he'll be right to take on Souths after his head knock against Brisbane.
James Graham is confident he'll be right to take on Souths after his head knock against Brisbane.

James Graham insists he will pass concussion protocols in time to be cleared for Saturday's NRL semi-final against South Sydney.

The St George Illawarra prop was sporting a nasty cut to his head on Wednesday after a sickening knock with Brisbane's Korbin Sims on Sunday.

Graham has been named to start against the Bunnies at ANZ Stadium but will be made to prove he's not suffering any after-effects from the head knock.

"I don't know about 100 per cent but I'm confident I'll be able to play," Graham said.

"But that isn't from my head, it's other things. I don't know that anyone is 100 per cent this time of year."

Graham at first resisted the Dragons trainers' attempts to get him off Suncorp Stadium, remonstrating that he was right to stay on.

However he said that there was no way he could have continued following the 24th minute collision.

"Unless you've been there before it's hard to understand the answer but your lights go out and then you come to," Graham said.

"Once I was in the dressing room I was very honest with the doctor about how I felt and made it pretty clear to him that there was no way I was going back on."

Three years ago Graham created a stir when he said that players, not doctors, should decide if they should be allowed to stay on the field following a head knock.

He said that he supported the NRL's concussion protocols which players must pass in order to be allowed to play the next week.

However after reading extensively on the topic he said there was a lot that was still unknown about head knocks.

Former Newcastle winger James McManus' lawsuit against the NRL, alleging the game and club breached its duty of care, has made concussion a hot topic for rugby league.

Asked if he had since changed his stance on concussion, Graham said: "No".

"You're opening Pandora's box. There's a lot to be learnt ... It is serious, it's something I've considered a lot, thought about a lot and I'm still doing the research on it, trying to figure out what the best thing is when I've finished playing.

"Head trauma is something that you can't not take seriously. It's something I'm aware of and I want to do the best by me."

Australian Associated Press