Wigan forward Ben Flower has been fined half of his wages for the next six months after being found guilty of gross misconduct by the club for punching Lance Hohaia.
Flower was sent off just two minutes into the Super League Grand Final for punching a prone and motionless Hohaia last month.
The Rugby Football League banned him from playing for six months, and he has now been docked half his pay for the same period by Wigan, with half of that punishment suspended.
A Wigan statement also confirmed that the club accepted the RFL ban, and that Flower will be forced to undergo rehabilitation working in the local community, but claimed that the player had shown remorse for his actions.
“In view of the player’s previous record and his remorse, the Wigan Club has decided that he be fined 50% of his wages for a period of six months and must undergo a rehabilitation programme involving service with young people in the Community during his banned period as he prepares to rebuild his career,” the club statement read.
“Three months of the fine will be suspended and subject to return during the next 12 months to his previous good record.”
Wigan chairman Ian Lenagan said that despite the club’s anger and disappointment at Flower’s actions, they would continue to support him during his suspension.
“Ben’s action was totally unacceptable in Rugby League but was out of character and one for which he is deeply remorseful,” said Lenagan.
“It is our judgement that we should not dismiss him but should punish him financially and then support him through what will be a difficult rehabilitation period and a difficult return to playing.
Flower himself expressed regret and accepted the punishment, while saying he hoped to move on with his career.
“I fully accept this decision taken by Wigan. I deeply regret my actions and I am grateful for the support that my club has given me throughout this process.
“It is a relief to reach closure on the incident and I hope to move forward now and rebuild the trust of my club, team-mates and the Wigan fans.”
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