Hardaker faces fresh allegations
Leeds and England full-back Zak Hardaker is to be investigated once more for using homophobic language.
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The Rugby Football League has confirmed it has launched a probe amid allegations that the 22-year-old used inappropriate language during the Rhinos' 13-12 defeat by St Helens on Friday night.
Hardaker, who was banned for five matches in June after being found guilty of homophobic abuse of a referee, is thought to have directed his comments towards St Helens second rower Mark Flanagan.
"We are investigating an incident during the Super League match against St Helens," said an RFL spokesman.
If Hardaker is charged and found guilty, he could face a suspension of up to eight matches, which would not only end his season with Leeds but would cast a doubt over his availability for England's Four Nations tour down under.
Hardaker took to Twitter to defend himself, claiming the allegations were "a load of rubbish".
"Well this is the last straw for me," he tweeted. "Sick of the crap that's coming out about me, nobody knows anything so why would you comment in it.
"And the fact that people are saying I've said a homopohobic comment or that I'm homophobic is a load of rubbish!! I've had ENOUGH.
"People don't know the consequences this has on myself and my family and it's p*****g me right off!!!
"So there...... You can write all you want you JOURNALISTS.!! Waste of breath the lot if you."