France center Vakatawa banned from continuing pro career
PARIS (AP) — Test center Virimi Vakatawa has been forced to end his professional career in France, his Racing 92 club said on Monday.
The medical committee of the National Rugby League, which manages the French pro game, told Paris-based Racing it was forbidding Vakatawa from continuing his professional career in the country.
The club didn’t elaborate. It has organized a news conference on Tuesday with Vakatawa.
“Saddened by this terrible announcement,” Racing said in a statement. “Racing 92 gives its full support to Virimi Vakatawa and immediately put in place all the arrangements to support its emblematic player as best as possible in these particularly difficult times.”
The 30-year-old Vakatawa was born in New Zealand, raised in Fiji, and arrived in France at 17.
He was convinced to join Racing by Sireli Bobo in 2010 and became eligible for France from 2013. Sevens was first to utilize his pace, power and phenomenal footwork, and he went to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
He made a try-scoring debut for the national XVs side in the 2016 Six Nations after gaining citizenship. A knee injury prevented him from playing for France as it won the Six Nations Grand Slam this year, and he played his first tests in more than a year in July on the tour of Japan. He has 32 caps and 10 test tries.
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