Super League: Widnes forward Gareth Hock hit with four-game ban for manhandling referee
Last Updated: May 14, 2013 9:01pm
Gareth Hock: Banned for four games after incident in Challenge Cup victory
Widnes and England forward Gareth Hock has been slapped with a four-match ban for making deliberate physical contact with a referee.
Hock was punished for coming into contact with referee George Stokes during the Vikings' 36-0 Challenge Cup win over Workington last Sunday.
The 29-year-old, who is on a season-long loan from Wigan, was charged with a grade D offence by the Rugby Football League's match-review panel and appeared in front of the disciplinary committee on Tuesday evening via Skype.
Hock was given a five-match ban in 2008 for manhandling referee Ian Smith while playing for Wigan, and also served a two-year suspension for using cocaine in 2009.
Widnes' next four games include a Super League clash against Wigan, in which Hock cannot play due to a clause in his loan deal.
However, his ban expires just before England's game against the Exiles at Warrington on 14 June.
News of his availability means Hull's injured second-rower Danny Tickle is the only member of Steve McNamara's 30-strong elite squad currently ruled out of the Exiles fixture.