Former Great Britain hooker Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson has slammed Salford second-rower Gareth Hock and backed his recent suspension for making deliberate contact with a match official.
Hock was handed a seven-match ban this week for colliding with a referee, which is the latest of a long line of disciplinary issues for the former England international, who was thrown out of the 2013 World Cup squad. It is the third time he has been banned for making contact with a referee.
“This is not the first time he’s made actual contact with an official,” Stevo told Sky Sports, for whom he works as a pundit and commentator on Super League matches.
“You’ll see quite clearly that on this occasion he could have pulled out, but obviously had trouble with his brakes. There is no doubt that he put the official on his backside.
“He’s a very talented player, but he always seems to put himself in a position where he is on the wrong side of the law.
“What they have to do is try to decide how they can keep this man under control. He certainly needs a little bit of help.
“The guy can’t get away from publicity of the wrong kind. He has a problem in many ways because he sometimes just loses the plot.
“He has to realise that he is a professional Rugby League player.”