Lawes banned for two games

England's Courtney Lawes has been suspended for two World Cup matches. [more]

Lawes banned for two games

England’s Courtney Lawes has been suspended for two World Cup matches.

The Northampton lock was found guilty of striking Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma with his knee during the first half of England’s opening Pool B win on Saturday.

Lawes, who pleaded not guilty to the offence, will miss the games against Georgia this Sunday and Romania a week on Saturday.

The minimum length suspension for the offence under law 10.4 (a) is three weeks, or three matches in the case of the World Cup, but judicial officer Terry Willis reduced the sanction due to Lawes’ previously impressive disciplinary record and his remorse. 

"Having conducted a detailed review of all the evidence available, including all broadcast angles and additional evidence from the player and submissions from his counsel, the judicial officer upheld the citing on the basis that the player had committed an act of foul play," a statement from Rugby World Cup Limited read.

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"However, taking into account mitigating factors being his excellent disciplinary record and remorse and the absence of aggravating factors, the player was suspended for two weeks."

Lawes is therefore free to play in England’s final group game against Scotland on October 1.

His absence for the next two games could hand a chance to Lions veteran Simon Shaw, a tourist with Britain and Ireland’s elite as far back as 1997.

Shaw will now compete with Louis Deacon and Tom Palmer for the second row spots against the two Eastern European minnows, starting with the clash with Georgia in Dunedin in four days’ time.

England can appeal the suspension, however, but they have just 48 hours to decide whether to do so and are as yet undecided.

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