Graham frustrated by Hanson loss

Date published: May 22 2015

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Queensland Reds boss Richard Graham has expressed his disappointment at the departure of James Hanson to the Rebels next season.

The Wallaby hooker will leave the Reds after six seasons in Brisbane, having made his debut in 2010.

With the presence of Saia Fainga’a in the squad, Hanson has been forced to share starting duties, and Graham understood why he wanted to leave.

But the under-fire Reds boss admitted some frustration at the loss of a home-grown product to a rival Super Rugby outfit.

"The reason most players leave is one, for financial gain, and the other for increased opportunity and I think in James's case it is really about opportunity," Graham told Grandstand.

"You've got the Test incumbent in Saia Fainga'a signed until the end of 2016 and James has only started about 40 per cent of the games since he's been here.

"The Rebels are, I guess, the only state without a Test hooker. So it's a good opportunity for him and I understand why he would like to do it.

"We understand in developing players there is always going to be some point they are always going to be provided with an opportunity to go to – in most likely – the Rebels, the Brumbies or the Force.

"Of course it's disappointing, but that's the way Australian rugby has positioned itself at the moment."

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