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Twenty four stone prop avoids jail after violent nightclub incident

Atonio during the International Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and France at Eden Park on June 9, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Giant La Rochelle prop Uini Atonio has avoided being jailed after he was instead handed a suspended sentence by a French court.


The 152kg prop was charged for his part in a drunken brawl which saw the massive frontrower break a man’s jaw.

The court heard how the Atonio was with a group of players that got caught up in a fight outside a nightclub in La Rochelle in September of 2017.

Teammate Matthieu Tanguy was also “implicated” in the incident, but it was apparently a blow struck by the enormous prop that ultimately proved decisive in the incident.

Continue reading below…

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According to judge, Candice Gratecos, “it was Uini Atonio who threw a very violent punch” which left his victim with a double fracture of the jaw and unable to work for 40 days.”

According to Agence France-Presse the sentence will not be registered as a criminal record.

Atonio recently extended his contract at the club until 2023.

His impressive physical and technical skills were spotted by Patrice Collazo during a tournament in Hong Kong. He came to La Rochelle to continue his training and finished up at the highest level. In 2012, he signed for another three years.


During the 2012-2013 season, he took on a more important role within the team, becoming captain at the end of the season. He became the new favourite player of the supporters.

This Pro D2 star became well-known by the general public during the team’s rise to the Top 14 in 2014. His first selection to the French Team came on 8 November 2014. In 2015 he took part in the Six Nations Tournament and the World Cup in England, where he was selected for the match against Romania.

After missing the French cap during one year, he came back to the French squad in June 2018.

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