England forward George Burgess has apologised for the incident that earned him a four-match ban but insists he would never intentionally gouge an opponent's eye.

The South Sydney prop - a Bradford Bulls Academy product - was found guilty of "behaviour contrary to the true spirit of the game" after being charged over the incident involving New Zealand captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak during England's 20-14 win over the Kiwis on Sunday.

Burgess, who was represented at a disciplinary hearing by England team manager Jamie Peacock, will miss Sunday's third Test against the Kiwis and the start of the NRL season.

The former Bradford junior, who was also fined £500, took to social media to defend his reputation.

"I want to make it completely clear to everyone that it was never my intention to ever gauge (sic) anyone," he tweeted.

"It is not in my make-up as a rugby league player and never has been. I sincerely apologise to anyone who thinks bad of me after seeing the footage.

"I always set out to be a positive role model for the younger generation and I will continue to do so.

"I accept my punishment but I will never accept that I gauged (sic) a fellow player's eye intentionally. I have too much respect for the players I play against and with."

Sunday's match was held up for Watene-Zelezniak to have treatment for an eye injury, shortly after coming into contact on the ground with Burgess.

The incident, which occurred 20 minutes from the end of England's 20-14 victory, went unpunished by referee Gerard Sutton and Watene-Zelezniak brushed off the clash in his post-match interviews.

However, the Rugby Football League announced on Monday that New Zealand cited the incident and they referred Burgess to a disciplinary hearing.

The hearing was chaired by His Honour Judge Christopher Batty, with former Bradford forward Jon Hamer and Salford assistant coach Willie Poching, the one-time Samoa international who was nominated by the Kiwis, performing the role of side members.

Burgess was recalled by England from a two-year absence for the opening autumn international against France and he also played in both games against the Kiwis so far.

The ban will leave England short of a specialist prop and will be a blow to the RFL, who had used George and twin brother Tom to promote the Remembrance Day jersey which will be worn at the third Test.

England coach Wayne Bennett said, despite wrapping up the series with a game to spare, he would be loathe to make any changes for the third Test, but he will be forced to make at least two after hooker Daryl Clark broke a rib at Anfield.

Meanwhile, Sutton has been appointed to referee Sunday's game, with England's Robert Hicks, who was in charge of the first Test, named as reserve. Phil Bentham will be the video referee.