France's Vahaamahina confirms...

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France's Vahaamahina confirms test retirement after seeing red v Wales


Second row Sebastien Vahaamahina has confirmed his retirement from test rugby just one day after his game-changing red card against Wales in France's World Cup quarter-final defeat.

The Clermont lock, who turns 28 today, was given his marching orders by referee Jaco Peyper early in the second half of the 20-19 defeat, for elbowing Welsh flanker Aaron Wainwright in the head during a maul.

France had been leading 19-10 at the time of sending off, Vahaamahina having earlier scored a try to help them into the lead.

Just over 24 hours on from the game-changing moment, he has confirmed to French website Eurosport Rugbyrama that he is quitting test rugby.

In a statement translated from French, he apologised for his sending off, and explained that his decision to leave the test arena had been made long in advance of the World Cup campaign.

"My style of play and the position I play requires a lot of aggression. An aggressiveness that I must nevertheless control," he says.

"When I give this nudge, everything was probably mixed in my head. Too much desire and desire to score again. And I just lost control.

"I regret this gesture, it is certainly spontaneous and uncontrolled, but it remains nonetheless that I am responsible for it. One and only responsible.

"It’s hard, very hard for me today especially since, as I had planned for several months, it was my last match with the XV of France.

"The people impacted by this decision have known since this summer: Jacques Brunel, Franck Azema, some players also.

"I really wanted to do well and the desire to achieve the best match possible, the best competition possible and then stop... Maybe I wanted to do too well. My envy and my aggressiveness made me overflow.

"From now on, it's time for me to have an arm surgery, as was the case when I returned from the World Cup. A cycle ends today, a page of my career is turning.

"I'm 28 years old and I can not wait to rebuild myself, physically and morally, to come back even stronger."

Meanwhile, World Rugby has opened an investigation into a picture of South African referee Jaco Peyper in which he appeared to mock the red card shown to Sebastien Vahaamahina.

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French Rugby Rugby World Cup 2019 Sebastien Vahaamahina

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