James Graham handed 12 match ban

England prop James Graham has been banned for 12 matches for biting Billy Slater during Sunday’s NRL Grand Final.

Graham, 27, committed the offence during a first half brawl at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, after Canterbury winger Sam Perrett had scored their only try of the game.

The former St Helens forward wasn’t handed any punishment at the time, and the Bulldogs went on to lose 14-4 to Slater’s Melbourne Storm.

The ban rules him out of England‘s tests against Wales and France, while two trial games will also count towards the ban, meaning he is likely to miss the first eight games of the 2013 NRL season.

He pleaded not guilty to the charge and maintained his innocence throughout the three hour hearing.

The 2008 Super League Man of Steel moved to Canterbury at the end of 2011, and has played 26 times in his debut season in the NRL.

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