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|Full name||Gareth Hock|
5 September 1983 |
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||15 st 8 lb (99 kg)|
|Position||Second-row, Prop, Loose forward|
As of 8 August 2015
Gareth Hock (born 5 September 1983) is an English professional rugby league footballer who plays for the Leigh Centurions in the Super League. A Great Britain and England international representative second-row forward, Hock signed for Leigh in 2015 on a contract until the end of 2016.
Wigan-born Gareth Charnock joined Wigan's scholarship scheme from St Jude's, a local amateur team. He changed his surname after his parents separated.
Hock gained international experience playing in the Great Britain Academy side that toured Australia in 2001. He worked his way up through Wigan's scholarship and Academy systems, playing in the Academy U19s during the 2002 season. However, injury forced him to miss much of the latter part of the year. He was also called up to the England Academy squad to face the Aussie Schoolboys in December 2002. He played in the first Test, scoring a vital try in England's historic victory. He had achieved amateur representative honours, touring with Great Britain U16s and U18s.
He was included in Wigan's 2003 first team squad by head coach Stuart Raper. Gareth made his first team début that season against Doncaster in the Challenge Cup, scoring two tries after coming on as a substitute. He went on to become a first team regular for the rest of the season. Gareth commented later: "Mick Cassidy was injured early, which was a lucky break for me," he said. "It went well, then Faz (Farrell) got injured and I got a few starts. I’ve enjoyed every minute." He was included in the England A squad to face the Australians at Griffin Park, Brentford on 28 October 2003.
Hock signed a new one-year contract with Wigan in June 2004. His playing career took a turn for the worse when he picked up a medial ligament injury against Bradford on 25 February 2005. The injury required a full knee reconstruction which kept him side-lined until the end of the 2005 Super League season. Gareth was expected to make his return in the 2006 season but suffered a stress fracture to his shin and had to miss the start of the 2006 season.
On 19 May 2006 Hock made his long-awaited return to rugby league in Wigan's Rugby League Challenge Cup match against Salford which Wigan lost 16-4, despite being on the losing team Hock made an impressive return. He featured in the next match which was against rivals St. Helens, he was again impressive and scored a try but Wigan lost 14-28. His impressive return has meant that Hock is likely to be included in the Great Britain test squad to take on New Zealand only a month after returning from a 2-year injury.
In September 2008 he was named in the England training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man England squad. He was named in the England team to face Wales at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, prior to England's departure for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. He went with the England squad to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup tournament in Australia. Group A's first match against Papua New Guinea he played at second-row forward in England's victory.
It was reported in June 2009 that Gareth tested positive for cocaine following tests on an 'A' sample of urine taken during a match between Wigan and Salford. A second 'B' sample also returned a positive result for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine. In August 2009, it was confirmed that Hock would face a two-year ban from rugby league as he did not appeal against the mandatory ban.
On 10 May 2011, Gareth Hock signed a new contract with Wigan until 2015, beginning once his 2-year doping ban has ended on 23 June. He made a high-profile return against Huddersfield in a 2011 Super League game.
Since his return from his ban, he has been a consistent member of the Wigan first team, gaining the number 12 jersey in the 2012 season (following the departure of Joel Tomkins to Saracens RUFC). Hock is well known for his aggressive and confrontational style of play and has begun to return to the high standard performances seen before his ban.
On 22 January 2013, Wigan announced that Hock would be joining Widnes on a season-long loan. After a possible move to NRL side Parramatta Eels fell through, on 5 September 2013 Salford announced he would be signing for them for the 2014 Super League season on a 4-year deal.
On 22 October 2013, England Rugby League issued the following statement: "As a result of serious breaches of team discipline that have fallen below the strict code of conduct as agreed by team management, Gareth Hock has been withdrawn from the England Rugby League World Cup squad with immediate effect. He is replaced by Huddersfield player Brett Ferres. There will be no further comment issued by England Rugby League on this matter."
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- Rugby League Project
- Love Rugby League
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