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Banned Senatore to miss three Warriors matches
ARGENTINA number eight Leonardo Senatore will miss three games for Warriors when he arrives at Sixways after being banned for nine weeks for biting South African lock Eben Etzebeth.
Worcester’s summer recruit was found guilty by of contravening Law 10.4 (m) (acts contrary to good sportsmanship) by a SANZAR judicial officer after he was cited during the tempestuous Rugby Championship clash between the Pumas and South Africa.
The back-rower is due to link up with his Sixways team-mates after the culmination of the four-team southern hemisphere tournament and his suspension will include the opening three matches of his Worcester career.
The incident occurred in the 61st minute of the match at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, but the sanction meted out was at the lower end of the scale due to ‘significant provocation caused by the actions of Etzebeth making contact to the head of Senatore’.
The SANZAR hearing was held before judicial officer Terry Willis via video conference with the assistance of former professional player Paul Thomson from New Zealand.
Doctor Andrea Boon on behalf of the player (Etzebeth), the South African team doctor Craig Roberts, the referee Steve Walsh, UAR board member Agustin Pichot and Senatore himself all gave evidence.
The judicial officer was satisfied on the balance of probabilities that biting took place to the forearm of the South African lock such as to constitute a breach of the laws of the game of rugby.
The judicial officer heard that Senatore had an unblemished record having played 19 Tests for Argentina and, given the actions of Etzebeth, deemed the level of offending was determined 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 Warriors. Accordingly, the player was suspended for nine weeks up to and including October 27.
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