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cheap north face jackets sale Rugby league-Wigan s Flower charged over grand final punchReutersReuters   17 minutes ago

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Wigan Warriors prop Ben Flower has been charged with a Grade F offence for punching St Helens back Lance Hohaia in the second minute of the super league grand final on Saturday.

Flower was sent off for hitting Hohaia as he lay on the ground and although the New Zealander also played no further part in the showpiece match at Old Trafford, St Helens went on to win it 14-6.

Lancashire neighbours Wigan and St Helens are two of the biggest clubs in English rugby league with a history of bitter rivalry in the sport but the incident was widely condemned.

The 26-year-old Flower faces a minimum ban of eight matches and the Rugby Football League is under pressure to impose a severe punishment in a bid to clamp down on violent offences.

I firstly offer my apologies to Lance. I have full respect for him, and have never gone onto a rugby field to injure a fellow player, Flower said in a statement on Wigan s website.

I d also like to say sorry to my team mates, our fans and the Wigan Club, the 26-year-old added.

I know I ve let them down like never before and accept I ll have to live with this for the rest of my career.

Finally, I m sorry to the sport of rugby league. It was a big night and I know I ve taken the attention away from what was a special event. (Reporting by Ed Osmond, editing by Martyn Herman)
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