France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina announces international retirement

Sebastien Vahaamahina was red-carded during France's defeat to Wales in quarter-finals
Sebastien Vahaamahina was red-carded during France's defeat to Wales in quarter-finals
©Steve Haag

France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina has announced his retirement from international rugby with immediate effect following his side's quarter-final defeat against Wales in the ongoing World Cup.

The 28-year-old had a mixed game against Wales as he kick-started their proceedings with the opening try in the fifth minute and was also sent-off in the 49th minute for an elbow on Wales back-row Aaron Wainwright.

The incident proved costly for France as they were edged out 20-19 following a late try from Wales' Ross Moriarty and a nerveless conversion from Dan Biggar that ended their campaign.

"It's hard, very hard for me today - especially because, as I have planned for several months, it was my last match with the national team," he said in his message to Eurosport Rugbyrama.

 

"I hadn't made a public announcement of my retirement but the people impacted by the decision have known since the summer: (France coach) Jacques Brunel, (Clermont coach) Franck Azema and several of the players.

"I wanted to have the best possible match and tournament to finish on... perhaps I wanted it too much. My desire and my aggression got the better of me."

Vahaamahina has played 46 Tests for France since his debut that came in 2012 against Australia at Stade de France and also featured in four games in the 2019 World Cup where he scored his maiden try.

Vahaamahina will face a disciplinary hearing of World Rugby on Thursday for his red-card incident following which he is set to undergo surgery on his arm.

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