Hock: World Cup exclusion is “out of order”

Gareth Hock
Gareth Hock

GARETH Hock has hit out at Steve McNamara’s decision to axe him from England’s World Cup squad - labelling it “out of order.”

The former Wigan forward insists he was punished for missing a recovery session on Sunday morning after sleeping in.

The night before, he went out with some of his team-mates - against the coach’s orders - but no-one else has been removed from the squad. He admitted he “blew up” at McNamara when informed he had been dropped, saying the call has left him “gutted”.

“I agree that it was wrong and we shouldn’t have had a drink, but there were six or seven of us and we all did the same thing,” he told the BBC.

“I’m gutted because I was really looking forward to playing in the World Cup. Just for missing a 10 minute swim... I think it’s out of order.”

He admits he shouldn’t have broken an alcohol ban but feels he has been unfairly punished. And he criticised the vague statement announcing the decision, which prompted speculation about the reasons why - particularly given his colourful career which included being banned for two-years for taking cocaine.

“People are thinking the worst because of how it’s handled - I know what people thinking but it’s up to them,” he said. “It’s been embarrassing, it’s not what happened.”

England have said they will make no further comment about Hock’s removal. Huddersfield’s Brett Ferres has been added to the squad in his place.