Hull star Luke Gale insists "I’m no bad boy" despite three bans in nine months

He has been hit with three bans in less than nine months but England star Luke Gale insists: “I’m no bad boy!”

The Hull FC captain, 33, had previously barely been suspended throughout his long career. Scrum-half Gale is more known for his silky creative play than dodgy disciplinary issues. But he is currently serving a five-game ban for being sent off after catching the knee of St Helens’ Jonny Lomax with his studs – and then trying to drag his injured international colleague to his feet.

It came following a two-match suspension for punching when Leeds Rhinos skipper in June which was quickly followed by a one-game ban for making contact with a referee. But Gale maintained: “I’m not a bad lad all of a sudden!

“The ban when I touched the ref’ was even more ludicrous than this one. I got done for striking as well and had never punched anyone in my life. But if someone kneels on your neck for ten seconds or so you are going to be disgruntled! That was down to frustration. This current one was just stupid.”

The ex-Man of Steel was initially seething at being banned for the Lomax incident which came in only his second game for his new club. But Gale admitted: “In that split second, I thought I could get the ball with my foot.

“Obviously I didn’t and I caught his leg. Do I think a five-game ban is harsh? Yes. “But it’s what they’ve sanctioned. I’m disappointed for myself but for my team-mates as well. That’s the hardest thing. The longest I’ve ever been banned before is one or two weeks.

“I apologised to Jonny. I’ve played nearly 400 games and I’ve never gone out to hurt someone on purpose. But with the way they are clamping down this year I won't be the first and I won't be the last to get a ban.”

The RFL is hitting hard on dangerous foul play, including contact to the head, this season. There has been an outcry that some bans have been too heavy. Super League coaches are meeting RFL disciplinary officials for urgent talks next week and Gale hopes some middle ground can be found.

“I spoke with Robert Hicks (referee and RFL’s director of operations and legal) recently to say I think we have to be careful where we’re going as a game,” he said. “How many matches now are being affected by yellow or red cards?

“I do understand we need to remove head knocks and late tackles. One hundred percent, yes. I’ve been on the end of my fair share over the years. It’s not nice. But it is a fine line and I do think we’re over-stepping it. We need some contact. And we’re probably now being too cautious.”

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