For some time, from this southern hemisphere sideline, Racing 92's Martin Castrogiovanni has been a pantomime prop.

Maybe his thoughts are lost in translation which makes him go-to fodder for the frenzied English rags. Perfect for the cameras too with his shaggy long hair and an affection for the lens.

He meshes into the old stereotype about ideal props being massive men able to follow a few directions who were then turned around at halftime to do more battle.

No one apparently has been doing much navigation for Castrogiovanni these days, he has been plotting his own course.


Castrogiovanni told his Racing 92 club he had to attend an urgent family matter in Argentina and could not be with the squad for their Champions Cup semifinal against Leicester in Nottingham. Earlier in his career he spent seven years at Leicester where he co-owns Timo, an Italian restaurant.

However the family issue meant he had to be in Buenos Aires rather than Leicester. Or so his story went.

Maybe the prop hasn't heard of the internet or he is past caring.

But when Castrogiovanni was spotted partying in Las Vegas with a number of PSG footballers and the photographic evidence whizzed around the globe, the prop was left facing a few explanations.

Racing 92 suspended the 119 test veteran after a preliminary investigation and have begun more inquiries.

"Following the publication in the media of photographs showing Martin Castrogiovanni with Paris Saint Germain footballers this weekend at a hotel in Las Vegas, while the entire Racing squad was in Nottingham to contest a European Cup semifinal, Racing 92 have decided to suspend the player as a precautionary measure prior to launching legal proceedings," a club statement said.

There's not been an mention about British bookies setting up odds on whether Castrogiovanni will attend a hearing, will be in Vegas once more or visiting a sick relative in Argentina.