Bradford Bulls hooker George Flanagan has been suspended for 10 matches and fined £250 after being found guilty of ‘attacking an opponent’s testicles’ for the second time in 18 months.
The incident occurred in the 32nd minute of the Bulls’ Challenge Cup second-round 41-16 loss to Featherstone Rovers on March 21.
Flanagan, who was handed an eight-match ban for a similar offence in August 2019, pleaded not guilty to the charge but was found guilty after a disciplinary hearing in Leeds.
A Grade F charge is the most serious grading open to the Rugby Football League’s match review panel and carries a minimum suspension of eight matches.
The punishment was dished out after a disciplinary hearing in Leeds which lasted for more than three hours.
Bradford born hooker Flanagan joined the club from Hunslet RLFC in February of 2018.
Flanagan was a key member of John Kear’s squad during the 2019 and 2019 season, making a combined total of 40 appearances and scoring 20 tries, one of those against Leon Pryce’s Workington Town in the League One play-off final.
Rugby league has had a number of unsavoury on-field incidents over the years.
Sam Burgess, who represented England in both rugby league and union and played in Australia’s National Rugby League, was banned for two weeks for a ‘squirrel tackle’ in which he grabbed the testicles of opponent Will Chambers during a match in 2013.
Former NRL player John Hopoate was banned in 2001 and sacked by his club for inserting his fingers into an opposing player’s anus on more than one occasion.