Three-week ban for Bastareaud for alleged homophobic slur


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.