England's Lawes handed two-match ban

Courtney Lawes learned his fate in Auckland on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Courtney Lawes has been handed a two-match World Cup ban
  • The England lock was found guilty of a dangerous tackle against Argentina
  • Lawes will now miss England's matches with Georgia and Romania
England's Courtney Lawes was handed a two-match ban on Tuesday after he was found guilty of recklessly striking his opponent with a knee during his country's opening match of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Lawes, 22, made the tackle on Argentina's Mario Ledesma during England's 13-9 victory in Pool B on Saturday.
The Northampton Saints lock will now miss England's next two fixtures at the New Zealand tournament against Georgia on Sunday and Romania on September 24.
A plea of "not guilty" was entered by Lawes and he now has 48 hours in which he can launch an appeal.
"Following a review of broadcast footage, Lawes was cited by Independent Citing Commissioner Murray Whyte (Ireland) under Law 10.4(a) for striking Mario Ledesma with the knee," read a statement on the official Rugby World Cup web site.
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"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.
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"In the context of the Rugby World Cup Tournament a week equates to one match. Therefore Lawes is suspended for two Rugby World Cup matches."
Lawes made his England debut in November 2009, in an 18-9 defeat to Australia at Twickenham, and now has nine caps.
The London-born player will be hoping he can still play a significant part in England's bid to reach a third successive World Cup final.