London - Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower has been charged with a Grade F
offence for punching St Helens back Lance Hohaia in the second minute
of the Super League grand final on Saturday.
VIDEO: Watch Ben Flower's vicious double-punch on Lance Hohaia
Flower was sent off
for hitting Hohaia as he lay on the ground and although the New
Zealander also played no further part in the showpiece match at Old
Trafford, St Helens went on to win it 14-6.
Wigan and St Helens are two of the biggest clubs in English rugby league
with a history of bitter rivalry in the sport but the incident was
The 26-year-old Flower faces a minimum ban of
eight matches and the Rugby Football League is under pressure to impose a
severe punishment in a bid to clamp down on violent offences.
firstly offer my apologies to Lance. I have full respect for him, and
have never gone onto a rugby field to injure a fellow player," Flower
said in a statement on Wigan's website.
"I'd also like to say sorry to my team mates, our fans and the Wigan Club," the 26-year-old added.
"I know I've let them down like never before and accept I'll have to live with this for the rest of my career.
I'm sorry to the sport of rugby league. It was a big night and I know
I've taken the attention away from what was a special event."