Argentina lock Lavanini gets five-week ban for breakdown hit on Healy

The second row could have a week shaved off if he completes the ‘Coaching Intervention Programme.’

ARGENTINA LOCK TOMAS Lavanini has been suspended for five weeks for his breakdown hit on Ireland prop Cian Healy last month.

Lavanini was red-carded for the offence in the Pumas’ defeat to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium and has now been banned after a disciplinary hearing.


Lavanini’s suspension means he will miss Clermont’s Champions Cup clash with Ulster this month.

When speaking to the independent disciplinary panel, Lavanini “accepted that he had committed an act of foul play, but not that it was worthy of a red card.”

However, the panel upheld the red-card decision by referee Matt Carley, having found that there had been contact with the head of Healy “in circumstances where the contact was direct and carried a high degree of danger.”

With that in mind, the panel opted for a mid-range entry point of a six-week suspension.

A statement from World Rugby reports that the panel shaved two weeks off Lavanini’s ban due to his “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, a week was then added back onto Lavanini’s suspension due to his previous disciplinary record.

This was the third red card of his Test career, while he has also had seven yellow cards while playing for Argentina. In club rugby, Lavanini has been sent off once, with a further nine yellow cards.

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Lavanini could still get another week off this suspension, having applied to take part in World Rugby’s ‘Coaching Intervention Programme’.

World Rugby say this means 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.”

Lavanini’s five-week suspension covers the following games:

  • Clermont v Biarritz (Top 14) – 4 December, 2021
  • Clermont v Ulster (Champions Cup) – 11 December, 2021
  • Sale v Clermont (Champions Cup) – 18 December, 2021
  • Brive v Clermont (Top 14) – 26 December, 2021
  • Clermont v Toulouse (Top 14) – 1 January, 2022 (substituted if he successfully completes the Head Contact Process Coaching Intervention).

Lavanini has the right to appeal his suspension within 48 hours of World Rugby issuing the full written decision.

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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