Rugby Championship
Senatore hit with nine-week ban for biting
ESPN Staff
August 29, 2013
Argentina's Leonardo Senatore gets to grips with Willie le Roux, Argentina v South Africa, Rugby Championship, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, August 24, 2013
Leonardo Senatore will miss the rest of the Rugby Championship © Getty Images

Argentina have received a huge blow with the news their No.8 Leonardo Senatore has been banned for nine-weeks after being found guilty of biting Eben Etzebeth.

The incident occurred during Argentina's 22-17 loss to South Africa on Saturday. Etzebeth complained at the time to his skipper Jean de Villiers that he had been bitten by Argentina's Senatore.

Referee Steve Walsh asked De Villiers if he wanted the decision referred to the TMO but technical difficulties saw Walsh unable to ascertain whether Senatore had indeed bit the Springboks lock. The alleged incident was then cited and the No.8 has now been found guilty of the offence.

The SANZAR Judicial Hearing was heard by Judicial Officer Terry Willis and evidence was put forward by Dr. Andrea Boon on behalf of Etzebeth, the South African team doctor Craig Robert and Walsh.

After hearing the evidence, Willis found that "on the balance of probabilities that biting took place to the forearm of the South African player Eben Etzebeth such as to constitute a breach of the laws of the game of rugby. Accordingly, the citing complaint was proven."

Senatore's offence was deemed to be "low end" and was hit with a seven-match ban. He will miss the last four games of the Championship and three games for Worcester. He is free to play again on October 27, 2013, and could feature in the Warriors' game against Bath on November 1.

Argentina waited until hearing the results of the hearing before naming their squad for the next round of Rugby Championship action. They will have Pablo Matera available after he was found not guilty of gouging Francois Louw.

They next come up against New Zealand on September 7 and Santiago Phelan has included Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe in the squad despite the flanker missing the first two games of the Championship through injury.

Argentina squad: Horacio Agulla, Marcos Ayerza, Marcelo Bosch, Gonzalo Camacho, Manuel Carizza, Felipe Contepomi, Agustín Creevy, Tomás Cubelli, Matías Díaz, Julio Farías Cabello, Santiago Fernández, Juan Martin Fernández Lobbe,Juan Figallo, Mariano Galarza, Lucas González Amorosino, Eusebio Guiñazú, Juan Martín Hernández, Juan José Imhoff, Martín Landajo, Tomás Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamón, Nahuel Lobo, Benjamín Macome, Pablo Matera, Juan Pablo Orlandi, Federico Nicolás Sánchez, Gonzalo Tiesi, Joaquín Tuculet

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