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Haouas to miss World Cup after hitting wife says France coach

NEWS: France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Wednesday that tight-head prop Mohamed Haouas will not be picked for this year’s World Cup after being convicted of hitting his wife.

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Last month, Haouas, 29, was handed a one-year jail sentence for striking his partner at a shopping centre but will remain free while he appeals the decision.

“Last week, when he was released from prison, I called him. I spoke to him. I listened to him,” Galthie told reporters.

“I told him he would not be selected. He responded by saying he understood, that he would apologise to the players and the staff,” he added.

Haouas is now without a club after his contract with Montpellier came to an end and Clermont cancelled their deal with him following the incident.

During his 16 Test appearances, Haouas has been sent off twice, including against Scotland earlier this year.

In February 2022, Haouas received an 18-month suspended sentence for his part in a series of robberies in April 2014 and for receiving a stolen car.

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Last month, in a separate case, prosecutors recommended Haouas be given a two-year suspended prison sentence for his role in a fight in January 2014, with the decision expected on June 30.

This week, Galthie’s preparations for the World Cup, starting on September 8, take another step forward with a two-day training camp in the outskirts of Paris.

Galthie has named a 26-man squad including Demba Bamba and Thomas Laclayat, in Haouas’ position, but players like captain Antoine Dupont from teams involved in this weekend’s Top 14 semi-finals miss out.

“I haven’t made a survey among the players but I have spoken with them. We needed to speak,” Galthie said in reference to Haouas’ absence.

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“I’ll keep private what was said, it remains intimate. But it’s not good for him, it’s not good for us,” he added.

The former Les Bleus captain Galthie will name his final 33-man squad for the tournament on August 21, six days before Les Bleus’ final pre-competition Test with Australia.

The hosts open their World Cup campaign against three-time winners New Zealand in Paris before also facing Uruguay, Namibia and Italy in Pool A.

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