Salford's Gareth Hock banned for seven matches over referee barge

Gareth Hock
Hock was banned for four matches last season for a similar offence

Salford's Gareth Hock has been banned for seven matches for making deliberate physical contact with a match official.

The forward collided with referee Matt Thomason during the Red Devils' 35-22 win over Hull FC on Saturday.

It means Hock will not feature again this season, unless 12th-placed Salford finish in the top eight and qualify for the end-of-season play-offs.

Salford chairman Marwan Koukash said on Twitter that the Super League club will not appeal against the suspension.external-link

"Not going to waste time and money on appealing," he said. "Hope our players make sure that Hock plays again this season. Let's move on."

Hock was also fined £300 by the Rugby Football League's disciplinary panel.

The 30-year-old received a four-match suspension for a similar offence while on loan at Widnes Vikings last season.

Gareth Hock's roll of shame
July 2008: Banned for five matches for manhandling referee Ian Smith
July 2009: Given a two-year ban after testing positive for cocaine
Sept 2011: Banned for five matches for gouging and punching Warrington's Ben Harrison
May 2013: Received a four-match ban for making deliberate contact with referee George Stokes during Challenge Cup win over Workington
Oct 2013: Thrown out of England's World Cup squad on the eve of the opening game for several breaches of discipline
July 2014: Banned for seven matches for deliberately colliding with referee Matt Thomason during a Super League match against Hull

He was chasing a kick during the first half of Saturday's Super League match against Hull when he came into contact with Thomason, who was knocked to the ground.

Hock claimed the collision was not deliberate but he was found guilty of a Grade E offence, which carries a ban of between four and eight matches.

Hock was also sent home from England's World Cup squad in October last year because of a disciplinary breach.

He is one of five players to receive bans following incidents during round 20 of the Super League season.

Catalan Dragons centre Vincent Duport received a three-match suspension for making dangerous contact with Wigan winger Josh Charnley, while team-mate Gregory Mounis was banned for two matches for a dangerous throw on second-rower John Bateman.

London forward Atelea Vea and Widnes prop Phil Joseph were both banned for one match, for striking and a dangerous tackle respectively.

Meanwhile, Koukash has revealed that he has made contact with a club in Australia's NRL, reported to be Newcastle Knights, regarding a possible takeover.

The Knights are currently owned by the Australian game's governing body after previous owner Nathan Tinkler left in May.

"I would confirm that there has been some contact with an NRL team but it is very early days," Koukash tweeted. "My absolute focus remains on the Red Devils."

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