Hock unhappy over England expulsion
England forward Gareth Hock claims he has been harshly treated over his expulsion from the World Cup squad.
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The 30-year-old former Wigan second rower was withdrawn from coach Steve McNamara's 24-man squad and replaced by Huddersfield's Brett Ferres for what the England management called "serious breaches" of team discipline.
England declined to elaborate on the circumstances but, in an interview with the BBC, Hock admits he broke an alcohol ban imposed until after next Saturday's opening World Cup match against Australia.
Hock, who says he missed a swimming session the day after the team's defeat by Italy on Saturday after sleeping in, claims there were "six or seven" members of the England squad involved in the drinking session and believes he was unfairly singled out.
"A few of the boys went out for a few drinks, then went out to get a bite to eat and come back," Hock said.
"I slept in. I missed a 10-minute swim and 10-minute medical check-up.
"We were told 'no drinking' until after the Australian game but we were a bit disappointed about the loss and a few of us had a few drinks.
"I agree that it was wrong and we shouldn't have had a drink but there was six or seven of us and we all did the same things and I don't agree with how he's done it.
"I'm really gutted because I was really looking forward to playing in the World Cup and I've put a lot of effort into it. Just for missing a 10-minute swim, I think it's out of order really."
Hock, who was given a two-year ban in 2009 after testing positive for cocaine, said he spoke out because of the lack of detail included in the brief statement issued by England on Tuesday night.
The statement claimed Hock's behaviour had "fallen below the strict code of conduct as agreed by team management".
Hock said: "People are thinking the worst with what's happened because of the way it's been handled. This is why I want to tell them what happened.
"The way it's come out (is) wrong and people are thinking the worst.
"I only did the same as the other lads did except for sleeping in for half an hour."
Hock, who was told by McNamara not to return to camp in Loughborough on Monday evening, also reveals that he reacted angrily to the news of his expulsion from the World Cup squad.
He added: "I blew up a bit and said 'there were six of us' and he said 'they will be getting disciplined as well.'
"Afterwards, I found out it was only me being taken out of the squad for doing the same things as they have done.
"I'm gutted. I thought I did alright in the game (against Italy) and I thought it was a bit harsh and needed a warning like they did.
"It's massive because I've worked really hard and people in the camp will tell you that. It's embarrassing. It's made me embarrassed.
"I had a drink but so did a few others. I won't say any names but I'm gutted and people are saying stuff when they don't know what really happened."
News of Hock's sacking came just three days after England's humiliating defeat by Italy and his claim that other players had broken the alcohol ban is another headache for McNamara in the build-up to Saturday's big opener.
England's management declined to comment on Hock's interview, although a spokesman reiterated that the decision was taken following a series of disciplinary breaches.
Hock received support from Dr Marwan Koukash, the owner of Salford who recently signed the player on a three-year contract from 2014 and pledged to stand by him.
Koukash tweeted on Tuesday night: "I once went out with lads for few drinks, overslept in the morning, missed work, got fined but not sacked from my job."
Koukash on Wednesday morning confirmed to Press Association Sport that remains supportive of his new signing.
"The decision has been made and (we) have to respect it," he said.