Disgraced France prop Haouas returns to Montpellier

rugby16 April 2024 15:51| © AFP
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Mohamed Haouas © Gallo Images

Disgraced France prop Mohamed Haouas will return to Montpellier from Biarritz in July with the Top 14 side saying on Tuesday that his one-year contract was "conditional on exemplary behaviour".

The 30-year-old, 16-times capped Haouas was sentenced to 18 months in prison – nine of them suspended – last June for aggravated assault.

It was the second custodial sentence he had received in two months after he was handed a one-year prison term for hitting his wife.

The latter offence had prompted Clermont to refuse to honour the contract he signed after leaving Montpellier, his first club. He dropped down to the second division with Biarritz.

Haouas was also excluded from consideration for France's squad in last year's World Cup.

"Mohamed Haouas will return to GGL Stadium this summer on a one-season contract, conditional on exemplary behaviour," said Montpellier in a statement.

The club said it would provide "additional support" to Haouas off the field, working with a centre for perpetrators of domestic violence.

"I have already taken steps, with the help of the club, with a Montpellier association which will help me to work on myself and on the actions that I may have made and that I regret," said Haouas in the press statement.

"I am grateful for this opportunity and I will give everything, on and off the field, to prove right those who trusted me when I needed it most."

Montpellier are 13th in the Top 14, four points from safety, and facing a potential relegation playoff.