England forward George Burgess has been hit with a four-game ban after being found guilty of eye-gouging. The incident took place during Sunday’s second Test win over New Zealand, which wrapped up the series with one game to play, but Burgess denied the charge at the hearing and still insists there was no intention.
Burgess was hit with a grade D offence which carries a ban of three to five matches. He received the top end of the tariff as well as a £500 fine, but does have the option to appeal.
Burgess said on Twitter: “I want to make it completely clear to everyone that it was never my intention to ever gauge (sic) anyone. “It is not in my makeup as a rugby league player and never has been. I sincerely apologise to anyone who thinks bad of me after seeing the footage.
“I accept my punishment but I will never accept that I gauged a fellow players eye intentionally. I have too much respect for the players I play against and with.”
Burgess will now be forced to miss the final Test against New Zealand, along with the South Sydney Rabitohs opening three games of the new NRL season.