Former All Blacks enforcer Carl Hayman has reportedly admitted to issues with alcoholism, after receiving a four-month suspended prison sentence for domestic violence in France.
On Tuesday (NZT), Hayman appeared in a Pau court on several charges of violence against his wife between 2016-18, including a "powerful slap" that forced her off work for three days, according to French publication L'Equipe.
In addition to the physical violence, he was charged with psychological damage, nuisance calls and insults.
"It's inexcusable," Hayman reportedly told the court. "I had a problem with alcohol at the end of my professional playing career."
Hayman's lawyer, Christophe Arcaute, added that Hayman had realised the extent of his problems and was taking measures to fix them.
"He knows that he committed the irreparable," said Arcaute. "To recognise that he's an alcoholic, to admit his weaknesses in this particular environment, that doesn't happen.
"He is aware that the facts are serious. He is teetotal now."
Hayman has since separated from his wife and is planning a return to New Zealand.
The 45-test prop was regarded as one of the planet's premier players during his prime, his mammoth 1.94m (6ft 4in), 120kg frame laying waste to many a scrum through his six-year international tenure.
He played his last test for the All Blacks in the World Cup quarter-final capitulation against France in 2007, before signing a lucrative deal with England's Newcastle, then French Top 14 club Toulon, where he won three European titles.
After retiring in 2015, Hayman joined Pau as a forwards coach. He was fired in January for allegedly fighting with some of his players.