ROVERSIAL England rugby league forward Gareth Hock insists he has been victimised after he was thrown out of the squad days before the start of the World Cup.
England chiefs announced his exclusion on Monday night after he broke an alcohol ban by going out drinking on Saturday and then missing a recovery session the next morning because he overslept.
They called it a “serious breach of team discipline” but Hock claims he should not have been singled out as other England players also drank on the night out, which followed the shock warm-up defeat to unfancied Italy.
“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,” said Hock, who was banned for two years in 2009 following a positive test for cocaine.
“I missed a 10-minute swim and a 10-minute medical check-up. It was harsh and I just needed a warning. It’s out of order.”
Hosts England face tournament favourites Australia on Saturday in the opening match.