Nine-week ban for Senatore

Date published: August 29 2013

Leonardo Senatore has been banned for nine weeks after being found guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (m) in Mendoza last Saturday.

Argentina number eight Leonardo Senatore has been suspended for nine weeks after being found guilty of contravening Law 10.4 (m), acts contrary to good sportsmanship.

The ban comes after he was cited during the match between the Pumas and Boks at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in the Rugby Championship.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was held before Judicial Officer Terry Willis via video conference with the assistance of former professional player Paul Thomson from New Zealand.

After hearing the evidence of Doctor Andrea Boon on behalf of the player, the South African Team Doctor Craig Roberts, the Referee Steve Walsh, together with UAR Board Member Agustin Pichot and Senatore himself, the Judicial Officer was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that biting took place to the forearm of the South African player Eben Etzebeth such as to constitute a breach of the laws of the game of rugby. Accordingly, the citing complaint was proven.

The Judicial Officer heard that Senatore had an unblemished record having played 19 Tests for Argentina. After considering the significant provocation caused by the actions of Etzebeth making contact to the head of Senatore, the level of offending was determined as low end.

In the absence of any aggravating features and significant mitigating factors, it was determined that a seven match suspension was appropriate in the circumstances. Bearing in mind the player's playing schedule, he will miss four Test matches in the Rugby Championship and three games for Worcester Warriors.

Accordingly the player was suspended for nine weeks up to and including 27 October 2013.