Wallabies and Brumbies flanker David Pocock has penned a heartfelt apology to Chiefs No. 8 Michael Leitch over the incident that resulted in the first suspension of his Super Rugby career.
Pocock was on Tuesday handed a three-week suspension for grabbing Leitch's neck in the Brumbies' 48-23 loss on Saturday. He will only miss two matches because the Brumbies have the bye this weekend.
Pocock pleaded guilty to Sanzaar's charge of dangerous play but took things a step further on Wednesday, posting an apology on his personal website and an accompanying note on Twitter.
Pocock said he was disappointed in his actions and apologised directly to Leitch, the Chiefs, his teammates and "all those who follow rugby".
He also effectively thanked Sanzaar for suspending him saying he was grateful "they are concerned about making the game safer for all of us".
Pocock's full apology read:
"Yesterday I faced the judiciary for the first time in my rugby career. 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.
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 SANZAR are concerned about making the game safer for all of us.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise again to Michael. And to apologise to the Chiefs, Brumbies and all those who follow rugby. I'd also like to apologise to my team mates who I will let down over the next few weeks while suspended.