Chris Hill hits back at ‘cheating’ claim following Challenge Cup tie

Josh McAllister
Chris Hill, SWPix.

Picture by Olly Hassell/

Chris Hill has taken to social media to defend himself following accusations that the prop cheated during Huddersfield’s Challenge Cup tie with Salford.  

Fresh from his new two-year deal, Hill, 35, had to leave the field in the first half at the AJ Bell Stadium due to a head knock, although ex-player Paul Cooke called out the international for cheating.

The two sides were part of an 82-point sixth round fixture on Saturday evening, with Paul Rowley’s Red Devils knocking Huddersfield out of the Challenge Cup competition, having reached the final last year under Ian Watson.

The fixture came to a halt when Hill came off for a head injury assessment with Chris Atkin close to the line, leading to the accusations from ex-Hull utility Cooke.

The now-talkSPORT pundit insisted that Huddersfield used the head injury assessment as a free interchange, replaced by Luke Yates from the bench.

He tweeted: “I’m not one for saying a rugby league player isn’t injured or hurt. Not one for saying they’re not concussed.

“But Chris Hill isn’t hit in the head there, he’s 20 mins in and he is to be replaced shortly. His head injury is now a HIA that means a free 2 interchanges.”

He followed up: “It is cheating in my opinion. Seen the replay of him being hit in the head, (not hit in the head though).

“It’s like the Harlequins bloodgate scandal for me. How you prove it’s disingenuous I’m open the ideas of a solution.”

Chris Hill hits back on cheating accusations

However, the 34-England capped international has hit back on Twitter with footage from the game, which was broadcast live on Viaplay.

Hill wrote: “Not sure what footage you were watching @pcooke06, but if you’re going to call me a cheat, I’d look at every angle.”

The prop appears to be a victim of friendly fire, with team-mate Harry Rushton clashing in the back of Hill’s head.

He later returned to the action in the second half.


The Rugby Football League’s rules on head injury assessments and interchanges state: “The use of the free interchange to allow for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) is in place to allow clubs to take the time to deliver the medical attention required for possible concussive injuries, without having to use an interchange.

“Although clubs may find ways to use this to their advantage, clubs are encouraged to use this for the intention it was introduced for. Compliance action can be taken where clubs abuse and undervalue the process.”

One way to get around the loophole is to ensure players instantly return to the field if and after they pass their HIA, otherwise count the interchange.

And if the player does not pass, then it remains a free sub, with the player ruled out for the rest of the game.

READ NEXT: St Helens boss calls on players to accept responsibility following recent disciplinary struggles

FOLLOW: Keep up with all the latest on the Love Rugby League mobile app