Sat, Nov 04, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Former rugby captain on trial for slaying wife

AFP , GRENOBLE, FRANCE,

Former France rugby captain Marc Cecillon will appear in court in Grenoble, France, on Monday charged with shooting his wife dead in a drunken rage at a party.

Cecillon, 47, told investigators he had fired five shots from his .357 Magnum at his 44-year-old wife Chantal while 60 witnesses looked on in horror on Aug. 7, 2004.

His wife died of wounds to the head and throat at the scene at Saint-Savin, close to the central-eastern city of Lyon.

Cecillon, who was capped 46 times from 1988-1995 and was a five-time captain of the French rugby team, was drunk at the time of the shooting and did not realize his wife was dead until he woke up in jail early on Sunday, police said.

According to witnesses, Cecillon had been quite drunk at the party and was asked to leave after slapping the hostess. He returned a half hour later saying he wanted to bid everyone goodbye but then pulled out a gun and shot his wife.

Known as a rampaging flanker, Cecillon played for Bourgoin for 23 years before retiring in 1999.

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