James Graham says England’s mid-season Test against New Zealand in Denver ‘has got to be done’ for the sake of international rugby league.
Several NRL clubs and the Rugby League Players Association believe playing the match at high-altitude, the travel times and the short turnaround before their NRL games are safety concerns for the players involved.
But England coach Wayne Bennett and the English NRL players released a statement in March in full support of the Test going ahead, with the England doctor, Chris Brookes, confirming there are no safety issues at the Mile High Stadium.
And St George Illawarra Dragons prop Graham says is important for international rugby league that the game is given the green light.
He told NRL.com: “I want to see the international game at the forefront of our game and this Test for us English lads and the Kiwi boys has the potential to be our State of Origin.
“We don’t have that [Origin] but we have got the opportunity to go and play in the United States in front of what I am being told is going to be a packed Denver stadium.
“People want to take that away from us. I get their reasons, but we want to play.
“There is so much riding on this that we have got to get it over the line, we have got to get it done.”
New Zealand legends Henry Fa’afili and Ali Lauitiiti have also backed the historic fixture. They said ‘it would be disappointing’ if the scheduled Test in Denver doesn’t go ahead.