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Bastareaud reveals suicide attempt

France centre Mathieu Bastareaud has revealed he attempted suicide six years ago.

The Toulon back has written about his struggles with depression and alcoholism in a candid autobiography entitled, 'Head High: Confessions of an enfant terrible of rugby'.

Bastareaud goes into detail about how he lied about being assaulted in New Zealand in 2009 and how heavy drinking in the aftermath led to an attempt on his own life.

He wrote: "I don't know if I really wanted to die. I wanted to suffer. I wanted to punish myself. When you hear everywhere all day long that you are just a loser, that you don't deserve to be there... you try to keep a cool attitude but you begin to believe what people say... I smiled in public but, as soon as I came back home, I was alone."

This came after the notorious incident in New Zealand when, having been drinking following a Test loss to the All Blacks, Bastareaud fell in his hotel room and badly injured his face. At the time he claimed he had been attacked by five men.

He wrote: "I staggered and, awkwardly, collapsed on the floor with all my weight. In my fall, I smashed the room's night table. The shock was terrible.

"I was bleeding a lot and it hurt. My left cheekbone had exploded... I panicked.

"The doctor asked me how I got the injury. I should have confessed I was drunk, but I was ashamed of my behaviour and afraid to face consequences. I was a coward.

"So, instead of telling the truth and trusting management, I developed a lie. A lie that would have heavy consequences."

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