Salford say Hock can’t face them in Challenge Cup

Gareth Hock
Gareth Hock

Salford are sticking fast in their refusal to allow former player Gareth Hock to face them in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup.

Hock signed a “compromise agreement” as part of his release deal from the Red Devils in February that prevents him featuring in a competitive game against them until the end of the 2016 season, when his contract was due to expire.

The 31-year-old former England forward subsequently signed for Championship club Leigh and is expected to make his debut for them against Workington Town on Easter Monday after completing a six-match ban imposed for twice illegally using his knees in his final match for Salford.

The Red Devils have been paired with Leigh in the fifth round of the Cup on Saturday, April 18, and the Centurions say they will challenge the clause in Hock’s release agreement in order to play him in the televised tie at the Leigh Sports Village.

However, Salford owner Marwan Koukash insists Hock will have to abide by the terms of the deal.

“As part of his release agreement that he signed with us, it was agreed that he couldn’t play any competitive games against us,” Koukash told Press Association Sport.

“Gareth was fully aware of that. The discussions were with Gareth and his agent and, from what I’m hearing, Leigh were made aware of the clause. It’s in black and white and agreements are made to be respected.”

Leigh, the reigning champions, are two points clear at the top of the Kingstone Press Championship after extending their run to a club record 17 consecutive victories. They go to Hunslet on Good Friday.