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'It was not my intention to hurt Michael' - Pocock apologises for 'choke hold' on opponent

The Brumbies player pleaded guilty to grasping the neck of Waikato Chiefs opponent Michael Leitch.

Source: Loulouz/YouTube

AUSTRALIAN RUGBY STAR David Pocock has apologised after being hit with a three-week ban for an alleged “choke hold” on an opponent.

The Brumbies player pleaded guilty to grasping the neck of Waikato Chiefs opponent Michael Leitch and will miss the next two Super Rugby matches as a result.

And following the decision, the openside flanker issued an apology for his behaviour.

“Yesterday I faced the judiciary for the first time in my rugby career,” the star wrote on his official website. “I am incredibly disappointed with my actions. I endeavour to play the game I love in a way that reflects the kind of toughness and decency I think rugby can teach us.

On Saturday night I did not live up to those standards, placing Michael Leitch in danger by binding on his neck in a maul. It was not my intention to hurt Michael, but in these sorts of circumstances it is not intention that matters. I am grateful that World Rugby and SANZAAR are concerned about making the game safer for all of us.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again to Michael. And to apologise to the Chiefs, Brumbies and all those who follow rugby. I’d also like to apologise to my team mates who I will let down over the next few weeks while suspended.”

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Paul Fennessy

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