Mathieu Bastareaud has been handed a three-week ban after pleading guilty to using homophobic language during Toulon’s Champions Cup clash with Benetton. The 29-year-old was widely condemned in the rugby community after appearing to aim an anti-gay slur at an opposition player.
The giant centre will miss France’s opening Six Nations clash with Ireland, as Jack Brunel takes over as head coach.
Speaking about the incident on BT this evening, former Leinster, Ireland and Lion centre Brian O’Driscoll spoke of his dismay at the decision, feeling it should have been longer, and he isn’t the only one with these thoughts.
“I think it’s pretty lenient, three weeks, being brutally honest. You want to stamp it out. I think he can consider himself quite lucky to only get three, even though he pleaded guilty.”
“I think it’s pretty lenient, three-weeks, we want to stamp it out.”
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) January 17, 2018
Les Bleus now must look ahead to the Six Nations as they plan to bounce back after a series of poor seasons. The Ireland clash is key if Brunel is to realise his ambition of challenging for the title.