10/04/2012 09:56 EDT | Updated 12/04/2012 05:12 EST

Englishman James Graham banned for 12 games for biting Billy Slater in NRL grand final

SYDNEY - England forward James Graham has been banned for 12 games after being found guilty of biting an opposing player during Australia's National Rugby League grand final.

Graham, who played for Canterbury in Sunday's 14-4 grand final loss to Melbourne, denied a charge that he bit Storm fullback Billy Slater's left ear as a brawl spilled over the sideline at Sydney's former Olympic Stadium.

Slater's ear was bleeding when he made an on-field complaint to the referee, and the matter was referred directly to the NRL judiciary.

The sanction imposed after a hearing on Thursday means Graham will miss England's upcoming tests against Wales and France and will also be sidelined for two NRL trial games next season and Canterbury's first eight competition matches of 2013.