SYDNEY (AFP) - Wallabies star David Pocock has taken to social media to express his remorse and apologise for an incident that led to him being suspended by the Super Rugby judiciary.
Pocock posted an open letter on Facebook late on Wednesday to say sorry for grabbing Waikato Chiefs player Michael Leitch around the neck in a headlock when trying to defend a rolling maul while playing for the ACT Brumbies last weekend.
He went a step further and thanked the officials who suspended him for two key matches against the NSW Waratahs and Canterbury Crusaders. Pocock said he had not lived up to the standards he expects.
"I am incredibly disappointed with my actions. I endeavour to play the game I love in a way that reflects the kind of toughness and decency I think rugby can teach us," he said. "On Saturday night I did not live up to those standards, placing Michael Leitch in danger by binding on his neck in a maul.
"It was not my intention to hurt Michael, but in these sorts of circumstances it is not intention that matters. I am grateful that World Rugby and Sanzaar are concerned about making the game safer for all of us."
Pocock, one of the outstanding players at last year's World Cup, also apologised to his teammates who he will "let down over the next few weeks while suspended". He will be free to resume playing on April 25.