One day after losing 28-9 against the All Blacks in Napier Argentina has suffered the first player suspension of the 2014 Rugby Championship. Twenty-one year old second-rower Tomás Lavanini will play no part in next Saturday's Rugby Championship fourth round fixture against Australia on the Gold Coast. With Argentina only having three second-rowers in the squad currently in Oceania headcoach Daniel Hourcade is likely to name another player shortly.
SANZAR Duty Judicial Officer Adam Casselden confirmed that Argentina are to be without Tomás Lavanini for next weekend's match against the Wallabies in Australia. Having been charged with foul play for cleaning out All Black captain Richie McCaw in a ruck Lavanini was alleged to have contravened Law 10.4(h) Dangerous Charging.
Referee Pascal Gauzere witnessed the incident and after confirming with his touch judge he asked for a TMO replay to conclude the nature of Lavanini's involvement. Upon viewing Gauzere penalized Lavanini but SANZAR authorities were not happy with the decision and thus cited Lavanini for foul play.
Casselden concluded that a low entry level punishment ought to apply, meaning a one or two week suspension. Lavanini was thus offered one week and accepted it. "The player's action can be described as reckless and not intentional. I accepted as mitigating factors the age of the player, his good playing record and his early guilty plea. This means that the player will miss his next scheduled match against Australia."
With the non-availability of Lavanini Daniel Hourcade will need to name a replacement with immediate effect. The squad that has played in the three Rugby Championship matches too date features just Lavanini, Mariano Galarza and Matías Alemanno as second-rowers. This weekend Patricio Albacete played for Toulouse, Manuel Carizza for Western Province and Tomás Vallejos Cinalli did so for Benetton Treviso.