Lawes cited in wake of Pumas clash
September 12, 2011
Lawes was in ruthless form against the Pumas in Dunedin on Saturday night © Getty Images
England lock Courtney Lawes has been cited for allegedly striking Argentina hooker Mario Ledesma with his knee, Rugby World Cup Ltd have announced.
Lawes has been called to appear before a disciplinary hearing in Auckland for an offence which carries a guideline suspension of between three and 12 weeks, or matches in the World Cup context. If Lawes is found guilty, judicial officer Terry Willis must then judge the entry level of the offence - the lowest being three weeks - and determine whether there are any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
Lawes will be required to leave England's Queenstown base to attend the hearing, which is due to begin at 3am UK time, where he will be represented by Richard Smith QC, the team's travelling legal expert.
The Northampton lock was the first player to be cited at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and it came after he collided with Ledesma, who appeared to be briefly knocked out, towards the end of the first half of England's 13-9 victory over the Pumas.
England manager Martin Johnson said: "We have received notification of Courtney's citing.We will of course provide Rugby World Cup with any information required and attend the hearing as requested.
"There will be no further comment until after the hearing."
Confirmation of the citing came after the 36-hour cut-off point but Rugby World Cup Ltd insisted there was nothing sinister in the delay. A spokesman for the tournament organisers confirmed the citing would have been lodged within the time available but procedural issues, such as selecting the judicial officer, delayed the announcement.
The official RWCL statement reads: "Courtney Lawes (England) has been cited for an alleged breach of Law 10.4(a) punching or striking (with the knee) during the Rugby World Cup 2011 Pool B match against Argentina on September 10."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The controversial tackling technique will be in full swing in Dublin on Sunday, writes Conor O'Shea, and could be a decisive factor for Ireland
"This team deserves to be recognised as the greatest of all time." Huw Richards looks at Gareth Edwards' final match for Wales
The two leading contenders for the best modern open-side flanker go head to head in Paris on Saturday. John Taylor assesses the tale of the tape