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France boss Fabien Galthie has ruled Mohamed Haouas out of selection for the upcoming Rugby World Cup following his court conviction last week in Montpellier. The 29-year-old was handed a one-year jail sentence for hitting his wife in public.

He told a court that he had lost control when he saw his wife smoking at the shopping centre where she worked, after telling him she had given up.

The court did not follow the recommendations of the prosecution, who had called for the prop to face 18 months in prison, beginning immediately. Instead, Haouas is currently free while he launches an appeal, or he could wear an electronic tag.

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In the meantime, the fallout for his rugby career has been savage. The front-rower was due to join Clermont on a three-year deal this summer, but they have now ripped up that contract leaving him clubless.

A French rugby federation statement explained that Les Bleus head coach Galthie would address the Haouas case on June 7 at a two-day preliminary training camp which marked the start of pre-season preparations for Rugby World Cup 2023.

As promised, Galthie took questions at his media briefing and Haouas, who has won all 16 of his Test caps under the coach, is now officially out of the running for World Cup selection. Asked for his view about the forward being convicted of an act of domestic violence, Galthie said: “Last week, I called him.

“I listened to him and told him that he would not be selected. He replied that he understood and apologised to the players and the staff.”

Asked if this selection unavailability extended beyond the upcoming finals, Galthie replied: “The competition we are interested in is the World Cup.

“I didn’t survey my players (about the decision) but we exchanged a lot, yes,” he added. “What they said, I will keep to myself. But what is happening to Momo Haouas is not good news for him or for us.”



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