France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina announced his international retirement yesterday 24 hours after being sent off in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to Wales.
Les Bleus led 19-10 when Vahaamahina was sent off in the 49th minute in Oita for elbowing Aaron Wainwright before his side lost after conceding a penalty goal and a late converted try in the final half an hour.
“It’s difficult, very difficult today even more so that I had planned this many months ago, that was my last match for France,” he said in a statement published on his 28th birthday.
“I hadn’t made the announcement about my retirement public because it’s not how I do things.
“The people impacted by this decision have known since this summer: Jacques Brunel, Franck Azema, some players also,” he told newspaper Midi Olympique.
Vahaamahina, who won his 46th cap in the fixture, lashed out at flanker Wainwright at a driving maul with his side seeming to be in a dominant position in the game.
“I just lost control. I regret the act, admittedly it was spontaneous and out of control but the fact remains that I am responsible. I’m the only one to blame,” he said.Captain Guilhem Guirado and the most-experienced member of France’s World Cup squad Louis Picamoles also announced the end of their international careers after the loss.
Wales face South Africa in next Sunday’s semi-final after two-time reigning champions New Zealand play England a day earlier.
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