J B Graham

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James Graham shared with his Southern club team-mate, James Douglas, who was also an All Black, the dubious distinction of being disqualifed from the game for allegedly accepting a bribe to throw a Dunedin club match in 1915.

The punishment came after another Otago All Black, Alf Eckhold, had left the field in disgust during the club’s match against University, apparently suggesting that some of his team-mates were not trying. The Southern club, it has to be said, always staunchly supported the two players and the bans were later lifted after several appeals were launched on their behalf.

Southern believed that faced with the threat of professionalism and the challenge of rugby league the game’s authorities had been guilty of a gross over reaction.

Graham, born in Dunedin and educated at Lawrence High School, was an aggressive loose forward and a capable goalkicker who made his All Black debut against Wellington, just before departing on tour to North America, in 1913 at the advanced age of 29. In North American tour he played in 11 matches contributing 66 points from four tries, 24 conversions and two penalties. In the official test against All America he converted four of the tries in the 51-3 win.

Graham retained his place in the All Blacks on the 1914 tour of Australia. He played in seven matches, including the first and third tests, and kicked five conversions.

Between 1908 and 1915 Graham played 21 matches for Otago. He also played for the South Island in 1910 and 1914, making 42 first class appearances in all. He also represented Otago at cricket and a son, J G Graham played for Otago 1945,49,50.

Profile by Lindsay Knight
for the New Zealand Rugby Museum.

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FULL NAME
James Buchan Graham

BORN
Wednesday, 23 April 1884 in Dunedin

DIED
Thursday, 15 May 1941 in Auckland

POSITION
Loose Forward

LAST SCHOOL
Lawrence High

RUGBY CLUB
(First made All Blacks from)
Southern

PROVINCE
Otago

ALL BLACK DEBUT
Wednesday, 10 September 1913
v Wellington at Wellington
aged 29 years, 140 days

INTERNATIONAL DEBUT
Saturday, 15 November 1913
v USA at Berkeley
aged 29 years, 206 days

LAST TEST
Saturday, 15 August 1914
v Australia at Sydney
aged 30 years, 114 days

ALL BLACK TESTS
3 (0 as Captain)

ALL BLACK GAMES
16 (0 as Captain)

TOTAL ALL BLACK MATCHES
19 (0 as Captain)

ALL BLACK TEST POINTS
10pts (0t, 5c, 0p, 0dg, 0m)

ALL BLACK GAME POINTS
66pts (4t, 24c, 2p, 0dg, 0m)

TOTAL ALL BLACK POINTS
76pts (4t, 29c, 2p, 0dg, 0m)

ALL BLACK NUMBER
189

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The All Black Games that Graham played.
(+) = substitute; (-) = replaced

1913

10 Sep vs Wellington at Wellington 19-18

4 Oct vs Olympic Club at San Francisco 19-0

11 Oct vs Barbarians Club at San Francisco 30-0

18 Oct vs Stanford University at Palo Alto 56-0

22 Oct vs University of Santa Clara at Santa Clara 42-0 (+)

25 Oct vs University of California at Berkeley 38-3

29 Oct vs University of Nevada at Reno 55-0

3 Nov vs University of California at Berkeley 33-0

5 Nov vs St Mary’s College at San Francisco 26-0

8 Nov vs University of Southern California at Los Angeles 40-0

15 Nov vs USA at Berkeley 51-3

19 Nov vs Victoria (B.C.) at Victoria 23-0

1914

1 Jul vs Wellington at Wellington 14-19

18 Jul vs Australia at Sydney 5-0

22 Jul vs New England at Armidale 35-6

25 Jul vs Queensland at Brisbane 26-5

29 Jul vs Queensland at Brisbane 19-0

5 Aug vs Metropolitan Union at Sydney 11-6

15 Aug vs Australia at Sydney 22-7

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