Former French head coach and all-round powerful rugby figure Bernard Laporte is facing the rath of French prosecutors this week.
Prosecutors have accused Laporte of showing favouritism in awarding the shirt sponsorship to his close friend Mohed Altrad.
Altrad is the French Syrian billionaire owner of current French Top 14 champions Montpellier and also has a six-year sponsorship deal in place with the All Blacks.
As the trial nears a close, prosecutors have said they are seeking a three-year sentence for Laporte, one of which will be behind bars with two years of probation.
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Turning their attentions towards Altrad, the prosecutors have suggested the same sentence be applied to the billionaire.
A key focus in this case has been the two men’s friendship and business dealings over the year. Most notable among these dealings was the signing of a €1.8-million-euro deal which made his eponymous firm the first-ever sponsor to appear on the French national team’s jerseys.
The trial itself closed today and as such more information will be available in due course.