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Mark Graham

Lock, Second Row

Player Bio

Inducted:
2018
Birthplace:
Auckland, NZ
Date of Birth:
29 September 1955
Nickname:
-
Debut Team:
Auckland
Opposition:
Newcastle
Date:
16 July 1975
Venue:
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Representative:
Auckland, New Zealand
Clubs:
Otahuhu, Brisbane Norths, North Sydney Bears, Wakefield Trinity

Career

Milestones
  • Won Brisbane grand final with Northern Suburbs 1980
  • World Cup 1988
  • Captained New Zealand’s Tours of Great Britain and France 1980, 1985
  • 18 Tests as New Zealand captain
  • Dally M Second-rower of the Year 1981, 1982
  • North Sydney Team of the Century 2006
  • New Zealand Legend of League (inducted 1995)
  • New Zealand Team of the Century 2007
First Class Games
253
Points
199
Tries
58

Biography

Named as the New Zealand Player of the Century in 2007, Graham will be the first Kiwi inducted into the NRL Hall of Fame after a playing career which began at Norths Devils in the Brisbane competition in 1979 and finished in England where he captained Wakefield Trinity in the 1988-89 season.

In between Graham played eight seasons for the North Sydney Bears and earned a reputation as one of the game's greatest second rowers at both club and Test level, where he captained the Kiwis on 18 occasions.

"It's a wonderful honour and I think this is more a recognition of the people who put time and effort into me - the coaches and managers - from the time I was five or six years old," Graham said.

Graham's mentor was Graham Lowe, who he followed from Auckland to Brisbane and continued to play under for most of his illustrious Test career with the Kiwis.

"He is a fellow who believed in me," Graham said. "I actually played with him in the third grade comp in New Zealand. He was our player-coach and out of that side there would have three or four Kiwis [internationals] and he taught us a great deal.

"He was a very good coach and a good mate of mine. He was coaching in Brisbane and he said would you like to come over and have a game. We ended up winning the comp and from there I went to North Sydney the next year.

"I captained the Kiwis in 1980 on the tour to England and France, and I was lucky enough to do that several times but I just played footy with my mates. I was lucky enough to get some recognition."

Among his team-mates at Norths was Lyons, who began his career with the Bears before joining Manly.

"He was a marvellous footy player, he had great vision," Graham said. "Cliffy was a player who saw something and played what he saw. He could play tough and hard, he could play skilful, was a good defender, a good passer of the ball and read the game."

"Graham was Captain Marvel and the Six Million Dollar Man wrapped into one."

Author John Coffey Modern Kiwi Greats

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Otahuhu 1975 1979 - - - - -
Brisbane Norths Brisbane Rugby League 1980 1980 19 9 - - 27
Brisbane Norths Official Pre-season 1980 1980 3 - - - -
North Sydney Bears Premiership 1981 1988 146 28 - - 100
North Sydney Bears Official Pre-season 1981 1981 3 - - - -
North Sydney Bears Mid-week Competitions
1981
1985
1983
1988
9 2 - - 8
Wakefield Trinity England First Class Games 1988 1989 14 2 - - 8

Representative Career

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New Zealand Tests
1977
1985
1988
1983
1986
1988
29 6 - - 20
New Zealand Tour Matches
1978
1980
1985
1978
1980
1985
16 10 - - 32

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Auckland Mid-week Competitions
1975
1979
1977
1979
6 - - - -
Auckland Touring International Teams
1975
1977
1975
1977
6 - - - -
Oceania Europe 1984 1984 1 1 - - 4
Rest of the World Australia 1988 1988 1 - - - -

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Hall Of Fame Members