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Anasta says Frizell’s reason for Knights move would ‘p**s me off’. But teammate leaps to defence

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James Graham says he won’t “say a bad thing” about his Dragons teammate Tyson Frizell, after the back-row representative was on Thursday linked to a multimillion-dollar move to the Knights before being unveiled on Friday as the club’s new recruit.

Frizell told The Daily Telegraph that his decision came down to his desire to win a premiership rather than dollars.

“People know that I’m looking to win a premiership hopefully and play some good footy, play finals footy,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

That remark raised the eyebrows of former NRL Premiership winner Braith Anasta, who said on Fox League Mornings that if he was Frizell’s teammate at the Dragons that comment would “p**s me off” given the Knights’ struggles in recent years.

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Graham on Frizell move

Graham on Frizell move

1:15

But Graham said if that was Frizell’s prerogative to move elsewhere if he didn’t think success could be achieved at the Dragons.

“Look, I don’t disagree with him for that’s why he wants to play,” Graham told League Live on Friday morning, hours before the Knights confirmed the back-rower’s new three-year deal .

“That’s what most of us would want to do.

“If Tyson’s got his reasons to go to Newcastle that’s fair enough.

“Obviously if he’s choosing Newcastle over St George it’s disappointing, but I’m not going to say anything bad about him.

“I’m here for the same amount as Tyson, I’ve got another year left and hopefully we can do something together if we can get the season back on track.”

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James Graham and Tyson Frizell during St. George-Illawarra Dragons training in Wollongong. Picture. Phil Hillyard
James Graham and Tyson Frizell during St. George-Illawarra Dragons training in Wollongong. Picture. Phil HillyardSource: News Corp Australia

Graham added that Frizell’s character couldn’t be questioned and that if the Knights did recruit him, the NSW Blues back-rower would be a valuable addition.

“I don’t know if anything’s been confirmed yet, but I know a lot about Tyson having played with him for two and a half years now and he’s a quality quality player, one of the best back-row’s this country’s got and this competition has,” the English international said.

“I just can’t speak highly enough of him as a person. We’ve got pretty close over that time and he lives just around the corner and him and his family are really good friends of ours and wherever he goes you know you’re going to get someone who is going to do everything he can to win games and try win a competition.”

Just hours after Graham spoke on Fox League Mornings, the Knights confirmed Frizell’s signing on a three-year deal.

When BA surprised Braith

When BA surprised Braith

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Meanwhile, Graham said that there were rays of sunshine at the Dragons despite being one of six clubs not to register a win in the opening two rounds of the competition, before the NRL was suspended on Monday.

“Obviously bitterly disappointed (by the opening two defeats),” Graham said.

“I think both games (there were) a lot of good signs, there’s some positives to take, we’ve had like four players within the 17 that weren’t with us before Christmas, so we’re working on new combinations.

“But if you look at both games – and we were under the pump for large periods of that – we were coming home strong and that’s a positive sign that despite having very little ball we were still in the fight and pushing it to the 80th minute.”

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The Dragons went down narrowly 32-28 at home to the Panthers on Friday night, which came off the back of their 24-14 loss to the Tigers in round one.

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