France centre Virimi Vakatawa forced to retire on medical grounds

Virimi Vakatawa has played 32 times for France
Virimi Vakatawa has played 32 times for France

Racing 92 have confirmed that France international Virimi Vakatawa has been forced to retire with immediate effect on medical grounds.

Born in New Zealand and raised in Fiji, Vakatawa made his professional rugby debut with Racing 92 in 2010 and was released from his contract to feature full time for the Fiji Sevens side featuring for them in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In 2016, he signed a two-year deal with France's 7s and 15s side before rejoining Racing 92 ahead of the 2017/18 season.

The club in a statement said the French National Rugby League demanded Vakatawa's retirement and a press conference is arranged on Tuesday which will also be attended by Les Bleus coach Fabien Galthie.

"We have just been informed of the decision of the LNR's medical committee to forbid Virimi Vakatawa from continuing his career in France," the club said.

"Particularly saddened by this terrible announcement, Racing 92 gives its full support to Vakatawa and has immediately put in place all the arrangements to accompany its emblematic player as best as possible in these particularly difficult moments."

The 30-year-old made his France debut in 2016 and has gone on to play 32 Tests scoring 10 tries. He was also part of their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign but a knee injury prevented him from participating in the Six Nations tournament earlier in the year which France went on to clinch the Grand Slam.

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