Banned star’s hearing date

Gareth Hock
Gareth Hock

BANNED forward Gareth Hock should discover next week whether he will get the green-light for an early return to Wigan.

The forward is scheduled to face a specially-convened hearing in London a week tomorrow, when the Warriors will ask for Hock to be allowed to train with his team-mates before his suspension expires in June.

Under the terms of his two-year ban for failing a doping test, Hock has not been allowed to train with Wigan, and has been keeping himself fit under the guidance of a personal trainer at a commercial local gym.

But the Warriors are using a precedent set in football to try and get him into the fold sooner.

They will argue that, as rugby league is a team sport, it is harder for its banned players to get back up to speed once they have served their suspensions, than those from individual sports such as athletics.

If they are successful, the former England Test star could spend more than two months in the Wigan camp before his playing ban expires – boosting his chances of rekindling his sterling form in Super League quickly.

Hock watched the 24-6 loss to Warrington last Friday night from the directors’ box.

His presence next to chairman Ian Lenagan – in front of the Sky Sports cameras – sent a clear message that he will be welcomed back.

WARRINGTON forward Ben Westwood yesterday received a formal caution for punching Sam Tomkins in the 43rd minute of Friday’s match.

Wigan’s home fixture against Hull KR has been put back three days to Monday May 30 (6.30pm).