France flanker Kevin Gourdon retires due to heart issue

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  • Kevin Gourdon
    French rugby union player

France international Kevin Gourdon has been forced to retire with immediate effect after the discovery of a heart problem.

Gourdon won 19 caps for Les Bleus after making his debut in 2016 and made the last of his appearances against New Zealand in June 2018.

Health a priority

“It’s brutal and sad news, but my health is a priority,” he said.

“Unfortunately it’s something we can’t control, I’m not in a position to do anything to make the situation different, so I have no regrets.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have a busy career, I’ve experienced a lot with Stade Rochelais, the Pro D2, the fight to stay in the Top 14 and then a few years later the final phases. It’s a lot of memories, a lot of emotions.

“Today I have to turn to a new part of my life, perhaps a little sooner than expected, but which will be, I’m convinced, just as fulfilling.”

Gourdon became a La Rochelle legend after joining them from Clermont Auvergne in 2012. The back-row featured 221 times for the club and helped them go from the Pro D2 to the top end of the European game.

“Kevin, the man he is, his loyalty to the club, his immense talent, make him an emblematic player of the culture and identity of Stade Rochelais,” La Rochelle president Vincent Merling said.

“He is now forced to abruptly end his career and quite logically prioritise his health. He will be sorely missed as we continue to write the history of the ‘Yellow and Black’ to which he has already contributed so extensively.

“Kevin and his family can be assured of the full support of Stade Rochelais.”

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