France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina retires from international rugby
21 October 2019, 16:49 | Updated: 21 October 2019, 18:45
France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina has announced his retirement from international rugby a day after his Rugby World Cup red card against Wales.
The Clermont Auvergne forward was dismissed early in the second half for an elbow on Wales' Aaron Wainwright as his side went on to lose 20-19 in the quarter-final clash.
Admitting he "lost control" in the incident, he added in a message sent to Eurosport Rugbyrama: "It's hard, very hard for me today - especially because, as I have planned for several months, it was my last match with the national team.
"I hadn't made a public announcement of my retirement but the people impacted by the decision have known since the summer: [France coach] Jacques Brunel, [Clermont coach] Franck Azema and several of the players.
"I wanted to have the best possible match and tournament to finish on... perhaps I wanted it too much. My desire and my aggression got the better of me."
Vahaamahina faces a World Rugby disciplinary hearing on Thursday but its consequences will be minimal after he revealed that along with his international retirement, coincidentally on his 28th birthday, he will have a long-planned operation on his arm.
He added: "It is the end of a cycle, a new page turns in my career.
"I am 28 and I can't wait to rebuild, physically and mentally, and come back even stronger."
Vahaamahina won 46 caps for Les Bleus, with his solitary try coming in the Wales game.
His dismissal later in the game continued to cause controversy after referee Jaco Peyper was pictured after the match with a group of Wales fans, imitating Vahaamahina's elbow.
(c) Sky Sports 2019: France lock Sebastien Vahaamahina retires from international rugby