England star George Burgess has issued an apology , via his twitter account , to anyone who ‘thinks bad of me’ after he was banned for 4 matches for a Grade D behaviour contrary to the spirit of the game charge following an alleged ‘eye gouging ‘ incident in the 2nd half of Sunday’s International against the Kiwis .
Burgess had earlier tweeted accepting the 4 match ban but saying he would never accept he would eye gouge intentionally , as he had too much respect for the players he plays against and with .
The disciplinary panel found him guilty of the charge following the incident involving New Zealand Captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak meaning he will now miss the final test at Elland Road this weekend plus the opening 3 rounds of his club South Sydney’s NRL campaign .
The full tweet stated ‘ I want to make it completely clear to everyone that it was never my intention to ever gauge 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.’
The Kiwis captain had earlier backed Burgess saying “I felt a finger go in my eye, but that’s football,” he went on to say “. He is a big boy with some big fingers, so his hand on my face probably covers it all.
“I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose. He and his brothers are good guys and have done really good things in the game. I don’t think that’s in their kit bag. I’m sweet now. I’m sure it was accidental.” he did admit though to needing eye drops to allow him to continue in the game .
Both sides are looking to put the incident behind them , and not letting it overshadow preparations for Sunday’s final test , where the Kiwis will be looking to avoid a series whitewash and a 4th defeat in 2018 to England .