Argentina second-row Tomas Lavanini appeared before an independent judicial committee via video link having received a red card for an act of foul play contrary to Law 9.20 (a) (dangerous play at ruck/maul) in Argentina’s international match against Ireland on 21 November, 2021.
The independent Disciplinary Committee chaired by Roddy Dunlop QC (Scotland), joined by former internationals Becky Essex (England) and Stefan Terblanche (South Africa), heard the case, considering all the available evidence, including multiple broadcast angles and submissions from the player and his representative.
The player accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, but not that it was worthy of a red card. Having reviewed all the evidence, the committee deemed that there has been contact with the head of an opposing player, in circumstances where the contact was direct and carried a high degree of danger. On that basis, the committee upheld the red card, and applied World Rugby’s mandatory minimum mid-range entry point for foul play resulting in contact with the head. This resulted in a starting point of a six-week suspension.
Having acknowledged mitigating factors including the player’s expression of remorse, his conduct at the hearing, and the fact that he has been taking active steps to ensure that his on field aggression was appropriately controlled, the committee reduced the sanction by two weeks. However, it thereafter required to consider the player’s previous dismissals, and in that regard the committee added one week.
The net result of this is a sanction of five weeks.
The player applied to take part in the Coaching Intervention Programme, and this was approved by the panel. This means that he may be able to substitute the final match of his sanction for a coaching intervention aimed at modifying specific techniques and technical issues that contributed to the foul play. Further information can be found here.
This means that the suspension will cover the following matches, although the final match (against Toulouse) will be excluded if the Coaching Intervention Plan is completed successfully.
- Clermont Auvergne v Biarritz (Top 14) – 4 December, 2021
- Clermont Auvergne v Ulster (EPCR) – 11 December, 2021
- Sale v Clermont Auvergne (EPCR) – 18 December, 2021
- Brive v Clermont Auvergne (Top 14) – 26 December, 2021
- Clermont Auvergne v Toulouse (Top 14) – 1 January, 2021 (substituted if he successfully completes the Head Contact Process Coaching Intervention)
The player has the right of appeal within 48 hours of the issuing of the full written decision.
Click here to watch the video that explains how rugby’s disciplinary process works.
Visit World Rugby’s dedicated disciplinary process education and information page here.
World Rugby is managing the communications for all matches in the November test window. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.