Romain Navarrete says he was defending his Wigan and France team-mate Morgan Escare in the fracas that erupted at half-time in the Super League Grand Final.
The Wigan prop forward appeared to spark the scuffle by wading into the melee following a push by Warrington centre Bryson Goodwin on full-back Escare.
It followed a clash between Goodwin and Escare during the first half at Old Trafford, one of a series of heated moments of a tense Grand Final which Wigan won 12-4.
“Goodwin pushed Morgan and he’s my mate, so I went to help him,” said Navarrete.
A Rugby Football League spokesman said the incident would be included in the match commissioner’s report and studied by officials on Monday.