France duo Uini Atonio and Romain Taofifenua announces international retirement

France head coach Fabien Galthie
France head coach Fabien Galthie
©Steve Haag

France head coach Fabien Galthie has confirmed that prop Uini Atonio and lock Romain Taofifenua have announced retirement from international rugby following their side's exit from the ongoing Rugby World Cup.

The Les Bleus finished the group stage unbeaten with four wins from as many games but their campaign came to an end following the 28-29 quarter-final defeat to South Africa.

Atonio made his debut for France in 2014 and has been one of the key player in the World Cup. He has overall featured in 57 Tests while Lyon bound Taofifenua has 49 Test caps to his name.

“This arrow of time gave us a very clear vision," said Galthie.

"The French team will continue to play, move forward and develop. Only two players are retiring, Uini Atonio and Romain Taofifenua. As for the rest, what we’ve just experienced is part of writing the book for the French team.

“It’s difficult. We used ‘the arrow of time’ [analogy] to work and grow with the players according to a certain methodology.

"We’ve worked really well over the last four years with the staff, the players and the federation, and we’ve achieved something great.”

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