'People who don't know me might be disappointed' - Poirot quits France team at age of 27


Jefferson Poirot quit international rugby at the age of 27 on Sunday in a decision he admits will leave some people "surprised and perhaps disappointed".

The France prop has retired from duty with Les Bleus and stressed his decision was "not a whim" but had been carefully considered.

Poirot, who won 36 caps for his country, said he took the decision to allow him to better focus on his club career and fatherhood.

Scroll to continue with content

He played at last year's Rugby World Cup and made his final France appearance in the shock defeat to Scotland on March 8, a Six Nations jolt after wins over England and Italy.

In a statement on Instagram, Poirot said: "It's time for me to tell you about the difficult decision that I took a few months ago.

"That of taking a step back from this grail that is the France team, this wonderful team that makes you dream so much, which is so hard to reach but which is also sometimes testing."

He said playing for France "has always filled me with joy" but that it was time "to devote myself fully to other personal goals".

"This decision will allow me to no longer feel like I am 50 per cent on all fronts, and to focus on a 100 per cent goal," Poirot said. "The goal that keeps me obsessing about winning club titles, achieving a milestone in my career, and being a full-time dad.

"Those who do not know me will be surprised, perhaps disappointed, those who know me will be able to understand.

"My loved ones support me, and this decision has been carefully considered, in any case it is not a whim: it is for me the right decision. The upright man, the father, is the one who makes the right decisions, at the right time, to be as tall as possible."

Poirot said he was sure the current France team "have a bright future", describing emerging talent as an "exceptional generation".

What to read next