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France prop suspended for domestic violence

NEWS: France prop Wilfrid Hounkpatin received a 12-month suspended prison sentence for domestic violence after attacking his partner.

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The 32-year-old prop, capped once by France in 2021, had been suspended by his Top 14 club Castres after a January incident in which his partner locked herself in a bedroom after discovering he was having an affair.

Hounkpatin kicked down the door and grabbed the victim by her wrists, pinning her several times against a bed frame while squeezing her neck.

He apologised for his behaviour during Wednesday’s court hearing.

“I exerted pressure on the lower neck. I was never violent with her. I try to contain my force as best as possible,” said Hounkpatin, who has three children with his partner.

The giant prop, who is 1.92m tall and weighs 130 kg, joined Castres in 2018 and earned his only France cap three years later on a tour of Australia.

“It’s a bit like an amateur rugby team against the France national team when you see the clash of sizes,” said the prosecutor Claire-Marie De Agostini.

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