France's Haouas set for Montpellier return after 'breaking squad rules'


Montpellier (France) (AFP)

Montpellier's France prop Mohamed Haouas is set to return for his Top 14 side this weekend after being penalised for off the field misdemeanours, coach Xavier Garbajosa said on Wednesday.

Haouas, 26, who was banned for three weeks earlier this year for punching Scotland's Jamie Ritchie during the Six Nations, had reportedly arrived late to training and had an altercation with a club sponsor before losing a financial bonus.

The tight-head, who made his Test debut in February's win over England, has a checkered past after fighting with team-mate and former South Africa front-rower Bismarck Du Plessis before a game in 2018.

"To close the dossier, 'Momo' broke the rules of the squad set by the guys and the staff," Garbajosa, who won 32 France caps, said.

"Once the sanction was applied, he returned to the set-up. The page has been turned.

"No-one is above the rules. Other players were sanctioned without you knowing. It didn't come out because they don't have Momo's status nor past," he added.

Garbajosa's side, who have Rugby World Cup winners Handre Pollard and Cobus Reinach in their squad, travel to Racing 92 on Friday after losing their opening game of the season at home to Pau last week.

France will finish their coronavirus-impacted Six Nations campaign by hosting Ireland on October 31 before a newly-created Eight Nations tournament in November.