Six Nations star Thomas loses ethics bonus
NEWS: Six Nations top try-scorer Teddy Thomas has paid for his role in France's infamous night out in Edinburgh by losing the ethics bonus given by his club Racing 92.
Wing Thomas was one of eight France players suspended for one game by the national federation over an alcohol-fuelled late night in Edinburgh following their Six Nations defeat to Scotland.
"The French Rugby Federation has already penalised Teddy Thomas in a sporting sense by excluding him from the group to play Italy [on February 23]," said Top 14 giants Racing in a statement on Friday.
"Racing 92 have opted for a financial penalty for the player by rescinding his ethics bonus for February.
"Racing 92 have also clearly made Teddy Thomas aware that his inappropriate behaviour after France's defeat to Scotland on Sunday February 11 is not worthy of the professional he is and will therefore not be tolerated, either by the club or the national team."
The absence of a sporting penalty, though, means Racing may pick Thomas for their crunch Top 14 clash with La Rochelle on Sunday.
The two sides are level on points in second and third just a point behind leaders Montpellier, meaning either could finish the weekend at the league summit.
Thomas has been the main positive in an otherwise miserable start to the Six Nations for France.
He has scored three brilliant individual tries but France have nonetheless lost their two matches against Ireland and Scotland.
Of the eight players kicked out by France, Clermont head coach Franck Azema has already said that centre Remi Lamerat and lock Arthur Iturria will not play for their club this weekend, while Toulon President Mourad Boudjellal said likewise about flyhalf Anthony Belleau.
However, Montpellier have picked No.8 Louis Picamoles on the replacements bench for their trip to rock-bottom Oyonnax on Saturday.
Montpellier's New Zealander coach Vern Cotter suggested his captain may have been unfairly implicated in the events of Sunday night.
"I've spoken to Louis. Of course he's been affected by the [Scotland] match and what happened afterwards," Cotter said on the club's website.
"But not everything is very clear in this story. There have been misunderstandings, mix-ups over players... we're not exactly sure.
"We have faith in our captain. I know the Scottish police and I also trust them," added the former Scotland coach.
France's return to Paris on Monday was delayed after Scottish police stoped their plane on the tarmac and removed six players for questioning as potential witnesses to an alleged sexual assault following media reports of a late-night brawl.
However, Police Scotland later said that "inquiries have established that no crime has been committed".