‘There are some concerning dark spots on one side of the brain’ – Super League and NRL legend James Graham opens up on MRI scan, concussion and the ‘alternative’ to rugby league

CONCUSSION is one of the main focal points in rugby league and sport in general at present.

The desire to reduce the number of head knocks stars are suffering within the game is high with the Rugby Football League enforcing a clamp down on foul play and high/late shots from the beginning of the 2022 season in a bid to alleviate some of the problems.

Of course, nothing can really be done about innocuous clashes on the field, but there is a great drive to address how and why big impacts in the sport occur and what can possibly be done to mitigate the effects.

For former Super League and NRL hero James Graham, there have been a number of health issues including a concerning MRI scan, but he wouldn’t change anything.

“I had an MRI scan which showed there was a significant reduction in volume in a certain area of the brain. There are some concerning dark spots on one side of the brain, and because it’s not on both sides they are thinking it might have come from blows,” Graham said on the Sky Sports Round Table Podcast.

“Concussion is on the mind of anyone that’s involved with the sport. It’s all well and good for the best neurologists in the world to tell us about the dangers of the sport and concussion and continuing to play, but from a player’s perspective we know the pressures that come with it and the sacrifices that we have made.

“I thought very deeply about life and death and what sport meant to me. I thought long and hard about this.

“The meaning of my life was to find something work dying for and was that rugby league? So when a neurologist comes to me and advises you to discontinue, what’s the alternative?”

Graham believes that going down the rugby path was the ideal that gave his life purpose.

“I know my personality type and I think I know what the alternative path would have been for me, a sport gave me a purpose and sense of direction. If I had to pay the ultimate price for that then so be it.

“For me it’s about bringing about the stakeholders along with us.”