Article

Three-week ban for Bastareaud for alleged homophobic slur

17 janvier 2018 16:36

Mathieu Bastareaud will be available for France's second game of the Six Nations after being handed a three-week suspension over an alleged homophobic slur.

The Toulon centre was cited for an incident during his side's 36-0 European Champions Cup clash with Benetton Treviso last weekend, Bastareaud appearing to call Sebastian Negri a "f***ing f****t" in the closing stages at Stade Mayol.

Bastareaud was expected to receive a lengthy ban when appearing before an independent disciplinary committee in London.

However, the committee judged the offence was "at the low end of World Rugby's sanctions" and he was handed a six-week suspension.

That punishment was then halved following the 29-year-old's guilty plea, meaning he will only miss France's Six Nations opener with Ireland on February 3.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bastareaud was named in France's 32-man squad for the tournament, having been recalled by Les Bleus to face New Zealand in November after a two-year absence.

With Bastareaud banned, Stade Francais' Jonathan Danty comes into France's squad to face Ireland at the Stade de France.

When asked about Bastareaud's conduct, France head coach Jacques Brunel said: "Of course, we condemn any form of homophobia; it doesn't matter if it happens on or off the pitch.

"The boy apologised for saying what he said. On a day-to-day basis, his behaviour is outstanding.  He certainly didn't mean what he said."

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