Hazell looks to bounce back from ban
November 23, 2012
Andy Hazell faces a lengthy spell out of the game © Getty Images
Banned Gloucester flanker Andy Hazell has admitted that he "embarrassed himself" when he unleashed a flurry of punches on Mont-de-Marsan's Sebastien Ormaechea - an outburst that led to him being hit with a 14-week suspension.
Gloucester originally alleged that Hazell had been the subject of foul play on the part of Mont-de-Marsan but the body in charge of European rugby - European Rugby Cup - failed to find any evidence. Hazell had the book thrown at him with his suspension ending on January 21 and he is fully focused on returning to the side and making his presence felt on the field.
But Hazell admitted he was "mortified" by the whole incident and that he wishes he could "take back my reaction". "I've never shied away from the physical side of the game," Hazell told the Gloucester Citizen. "I've been stamped on in rucks, I've been rucked out of the way of the ball, and I've taken plenty of rough stuff that's all part and parcel of a contact sport. But this was something different and a real shock.
"What happened was quite scary, to happen on a rugby pitch, I'd never experienced anything like it before, to be honest. I wish I could take back my reaction, I don't really know what came over me and I was embarrassed by that.
"But I've had to put that behind me and just focus on what's coming next. No one can condone what I did, and I certainly won't defend myself on that. A few things happened and I unfortunately wasn't able to control myself. And I think what I want to say is that no matter what you face on the pitch, the challenge is still to keep your control.
"I would normally pride myself on knowing where that line is, and I want to make sure that never happens again. I've beaten myself up about it time and time again and I'm mortified, because I overstepped the mark. Nigel [Davies] didn't particularly dish out too many harsh words, because he knew I already knew. And he's been great about the whole thing, to be honest, very supportive."
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