Leigh forward Jamie Acton has issued a public apology for the actions which earned him a four-month ban.
The 25-year-old prop, who has faced five separate charges for foul play this season, was punished by the Rugby Football League for man-handling an injured Greg Bird during the Centurions’ Super League defeat at Catalans Dragons on July 1.
Acton, who was seen by television viewers picking up a prone Bird one-handed before dumping him back to the ground, was charged by the RFL’s match review panel with a grade F offence of “other contrary behaviour”.
The case was twice postponed at the request of his club, who said they needed more time to prepare his defence, and he admitted the charge when he appeared in front of an independent disciplinary tribunal in Leeds on Tuesday evening, although he contested the grading.
Acton also appealed the severity of the initial nine-match ban, which was turned into a four-month suspension which ends his season, and has now said sorry to his club’s supporters, staff, directors and sponsors.
“I am sorry to let everyone down,” he said. “I accept full responsibility for my actions and they weren’t acceptable regardless of the grading I’ve been given. It is what it is.
“I will continue to work hard and improve on the negative areas of my game, and support the team as best I can off the field for the rest of the season and whilst I’m part of the club.
“Thank you to everyone that is supporting us and backing the team. Please turn up in numbers to support the lads for the rest of the season as it makes a massive difference.”