Gareth Hock : biography
Gareth Hock (born 5 September 1983) is an English rugby league player who currently plays for Widnes in the Super League competition. He is currently on loan at Widnes until November 2013, however this can be extended further and Hock has stated that he has no intention of going back to Wigan. His primary position is as a second-row forward.
He worked his way up through Wigan's scholarship and Academy systems, playing in the Academy U19s during the 2002 season. However, injury forced him to miss much of the latter part of the year. Despite this, he was included in the 2003 first team squad by head coach Stuart Raper. Gareth made his first team debut that season against Doncaster in the Challenge Cup, scoring two tries after coming on to replace an injured Sean O'Loughlin. He went on to become a first team regular for the rest of the season. Gareth commented later: “Sean O'Loughlin was injured early, which was a lucky break for me,” he said. “It went well, then Faz (Andrew Farrell) got injured and I got a few starts. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”
He crowned a magnificent season by being named Super League Young Player of the Year. Gareth signed a new one-year contract with Wigan in June 2004.
Gareth has international experience playing in the Great Britain Academy side that toured Australia in 2001. He was also called up to the England Academy squad to face the Aussie Schoolboys in December 2002. He played in the first Test, scoring a vital try in England's historic victory. He had achieved amateur representative honours, touring with Great Britain U16s and U18s. He has now been included in the England A squad to face the Australians at Griffin Park, Brentford on 28 October 2003.
Unfortunately Gareth's playing career took a turn for the worse when he picked up a medial ligament injury against Bradford on 25 February 2005. The injury required a full knee reconstruction which kept him side-lined until the end of the 2005 Super League season. Gareth was expected to make his return in the 2006 season but suffered a stress fracture to his shin and had to miss the start of the 2006 season. He was set to make his return from injury on the 14 May 2006 but he required a further operation and is like to miss the entire 2006 Super League season. The 2004 young player of the year, who was tipped to be one of the best second rowers in England, has not played a first team rugby league match in over 2 years.
Gareth made his long awaited return to rugby league in Wigan's Rugby League Challenge Cup match against Salford which Wigan lost 16-4, despite being on the losing team Hock made an impressive return. He featured in the next match which was against rivals St Helens, he was again impressive and scored a try but Wigan lost 14-28. His impressive return has meant that Hock is likely to be included in the Great Britain test squad to take on New Zealand only a month after returning from a 2 year injury.
In September 2008 he was named in the England training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, and in October 2008 he was named in the final 24-man England squad.
He has been named in the England team to face Wales at the Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, prior to England's departure for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
On 10 May 2011, Gareth Hock signed a new contract with Wigan until 2015, beginning once his 2 year doping ban has ended on 23 June.http://www.wiganwarriors.com/WContent.aspx?id=5969&type=1
Since his return from his ban, he has been a consistent member of the Wigan first team, gaining the number 12 jersey in the 2012 season (following the departure of Joel Tomkins to Saracens RUFC). Hock is well known for his aggressive and confrontational style of play and has begun to return to the high standard performances seen before his ban.
On 22 Jan 2013, Wigan announced that Hock would be joining Widnes on a season-long loan.http://www.wiganwarriors.com/WContent.aspx?id=7869&type=1 On 23 April 2013, Wigan and Parramatta Eels announced that Hock would be joining Parramatta from 2014 in the Australian NRL competition.http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/nrl/parramatta-eels-sign-english-international-forwards-gareth-hock-and-lee-mossop/story-e6frexq0-1226628242010
It was reported in June 2009 that Gareth tested positive for cocaine following tests on an 'A' sample of urine taken during a match between Wigan and Salford. A second 'B' sample also returned a positive result for benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine. In August 2009, it was confirmed that Hock would face a two-year ban from rugby league as he did not appeal against the mandatory ban.
He made a high profile return against Huddersfield in a 2011 Super League game.
Wigan born Gareth Charnock, changed his name to Gareth Hock after his parents married when he was 9. He has German and Polish ancestry. Under his new name, Gareth went on to make a big impact in the rugby league world. Wigan signed Gareth, along with future first teamers Luke Robinson and Sean O'Loughlin, at the age of 12.
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