Rugby Championship News

Argentina’s Senatore gets nine-week ban for biting

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Argentina forward Leonardo Senatore has been banned for nine-weeks after he was found guilty of biting South African lock Eben Etzebeth on the arm.

The incident occurred midway through the second half of a Rugby Championship Test last Saturday, which the Springboks won 22-17 in Mendoza.

England-based Senatore will miss home and away matches against Australia and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere competition this season.

No. 8 Senatore, 27, who made his Test debut five years ago, also misses three matches for English Premiership club Worcester Warriors.

He was yellow-carded in the first Test against South Africa this month in Soweto after a high, dangerous tackle on an opponent, but no further actiion was taken.

New Zealand-based judicial officer Terry Willis considered video evidence from two doctors on behalf of Etzebeth, former Argentina star Agustin Pichot and Senatore.

Match referee Steve Walsh was also interviewed by Willis, who said the balance of probability indicated Etzebeth was bitten on the arm.

Willis said he took into account significant provocation by Etzebeth when deciding on the length of the suspension.

The judicial officer earlier found Argentina flanker Pablo Matera not guilty of eye gouging after he was cited over an incident with Springbok Francois Louw.

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