Graeme Hughes joined Canterbury in 1974 as a lock forward. The brother of Garry and Mark Hughes, Graeme progressed through the grades quickly and received his opportunity in first grade as a replacement. Graeme became a regular member of the reserve grade team and played in the Preliminary Final against Easts. In 1975, Graeme started the season in reserve grade but became a regular second-row in first grade and was selected in his only game for NSW. Graeme played in the Preliminary Semi-Final against Parramatta.
In 1976, Graeme started the season playing prop but spent a period of time injured and came back in reserve grade. Graeme returned to first grade in time for the finals and played in the Preliminary Final against Manly. After a late start to the 1977 season, Graeme was a regular member of the first grade team. In 1978 was Graeme's most consistent season and was unlucky not to be selected in the Kangaroos. Graeme played in the Preliminary-Semi Final against Parramatta.
In 1979, Graeme played in the Grand Final against St George and after being injured for a considerable period of time in 1980, returned to play in the Premiership winning team against Easts. In 1981, Graeme captained Canterbury in one game during the season and in 1982, Graeme retired mid-season to pursue a career as a commentator. Graeme is a Life Member of the Football Club.
Graeme is the last player to play for NSW in both Rugby League and Cricket. Graeme played 20 first class games for NSW, as a left-handed batsman, from 1975-76 season to 1978-79 season.