Hock handed five-game ban

Sanction damages World Cup prospects

Last Updated: 29/07/08 10:19pm

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Hock: five-game ban

Hock: five-game ban

Sky Bet

Wigan's Gareth Hock will miss the rest of the engage Super League regular season after being suspended for five games by the Rugby Football League.

The 24-year-old was found guilty of grabbing referee Ian Smith's arm and acting 'contrary to the true spirit of the game' during his side's 34-4 defeat to Huddersfield on July 25.

The ban covers Wigan's remaining Super League fixtures against Hull, Catalans, Wakefield, Leeds and St Helens, although Hock can return for the play-offs, should the Warriors qualify.

It also severely damages his hopes of making the England squad for October's World Cup as coach Tony Smith would be gambling on the form of a player with a maximum 17 appearances to his name all year.

Hock was also fined £500 for the incident, which occurred in the 74th minute after he had shown dissent at one of Smith's decisions, and resulted in him being sent off.

It is the Wigan-born player's second suspension of the season after he missed the first two rounds following a dangerous throw in the last game of 2007.

He was also sidelined for six weeks with a broken thumb and sat out England's win over France in June with a hamstring injury.

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