June 7, 2020 / 6:41 PM / a month ago

Rugby-France prop Poirot retires from international duty at 27

PARIS, June 7 (Reuters) - Former France captain Jefferson Poirot is retiring from international rugby at the age of 27 after saying he no longer had the motivation to continue playing for Le Bleus.

Poirot, who has 36 caps, last played for France in this year’s Six Nations tournament, which has yet to be completed after being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prop, who plays for Bordeaux Begles in the Top 14, had been considering international retirement after France were knocked out by Wales in the World Cup quarter-finals last year.

"When the competition finished, a few minutes after the final whistle, I felt empty," Poirot told sports daily L'Equipe here "The decision was made in a fraction of a second."

“I feel my motivation is not at its maximum... I always promised myself I would be at 100% when playing for France, to not lie. Les Bleus, it’s the Holy Grail. I can’t go and play for them and just take my cap and my bonus.”

L’Equipe reported that Poirot informed France coach Fabien Galthie of his decision earlier on Sunday.

“It’s not in my character to give up. Taking this decision is much deeper than that,” he said.

“It was difficult but it had the contrary effect. It made me feel relief, the decision was even easier to make. I might be criticised, but I haven’t lied to anyone.”

Poirot later wrote on Instagram that he wants to focus on winning club titles and spending more time with his family.

“This decision will allow me to no longer feel like I’m 50% (focused) on all fronts, and refocus on a 100% goal,” he said. “The goal that increasingly haunts me is to win club titles... and be a full-time dad... It’s the right decision for me.” (Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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