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Red card recidivist Lavanini won't play until 2022 after copping ban

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Argentinian bad boy Tomas Lavanini won’t play again until 2022 after he copped a hefty ban from World Rugby for his red card against Ireland in the Autumn Nations Series.


Lavanini became the first man in Test rugby to be sent off three times after leading with his shoulder into the neck of prop Cian Healy, who wasn’t near the ball at the back of a ruck.

He was also red-carded against South Africa in 2017 and England at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

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The 6’7, 128kg bruiser won’t be available for Clermont’s upcoming Heineken Champions Cup clashes and will only play again in 2022, even if he has his final game banned removed after attending World Rugby’s new ‘tackle school’.

A World Rugby statement reads: “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.”

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, 2022 (substituted if he successfully completes the Head Contact Process Coaching Intervention)


– additional reporting AAP


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