Luke Hodge and Andrew Swallow shake hands. Picture: Getty Images.

Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge has been suspended for three matches by the AFL tribunal after pleading guilty to striking North Melbourne skipper Andrew Swallow.

Despite the guilty plea, Hodge said that he had intended to hit Swallow in the chest.

Hodge also explained he had apologized to both the North Melbourne skipper and coach Brad Scott for the incident.

“I do play a physical style of football, but that’s no excuse for what I did … I spoke to him on Monday,” he said.

Gold Coast’s Steven May has been handed a three-match ban after failing to overturn his rough conduct charge on Brisbane’s Tom Rockliff.

The contact was deemed to be high impact, careless and head high.

May could have accepted a two-match ban with an early guilty plea, but will now be forced to sit out three matches against Adelaide, West Coast and Collingwood.