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Graham's statement a potential game-changer for players

RLPA director Jeremy Latimore has thrown his support behind Dragons teammate James Graham's statement of defence and described his method of response as a potential game-changer within the media.

Graham released a statement via the Dragons website on Monday to clarify his position on concussion after Sydney Morning Herald columnist Peter FitzSimons took aim at the English international over comments he made last week.

Latimore believes the Dragons' willingness to allow Graham to publish his thoughts on the club's official website could see other players try to follow suit on other topics in the game.

"Honestly I think so, because some of the reaction to it has been really positive and it gives a bit of an insight into how us players think and feel," Latimore said.

"James is obviously known for being a brute and tough man on the football field but he's actually a very intelligent and articulate man.

"I don't think he was happy with how he thought his character was assassinated and come out and made points. He wasn't rude to Peter, he just said how he felt as well as offering some solutions on a sensitive issue in the game.

Dragons prop James Graham.
Dragons prop James Graham. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

"We are passionate about a number of things that go on in our game and in the world so you know, it could be the start of something … James could be the leader in a new wave of journalism."

Latimore believes the fact Graham didn't engage FitzSimons in a messy public debate and backed up his arguments with insight added credibility to his response.

He also shared his thoughts on Graham's intelligence.

Dragons prop Jeremy Latimore.
Dragons prop Jeremy Latimore. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

"James has always got his headphones in listening to podcasts and I think you could sort of see in the way he spoke, he knows what he's talking about," Latimore said.

"He's offered some solutions which is a good thing as well because sometimes in the media there's people quick to criticise without offering solutions for things.

"James did do that. I know fans would love it if players come out and said how they were feeling."

Latimore joked he had a different opinion of Graham prior to meeting him.

"You form opinions of people with what you see on the football field or in the media," he said.

"We used to get each other in the game but that's opposition. I used to think it would be interesting to meet him and then you do.

"He's a character and a rollercoaster but a passionate man and someone that I look to for motivation and who I love playing with.

"He's someone I enjoy having a coffee with because you learn a lot."


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