French support tester Jefferson Poirot’s surprise retirement could resonate with more players

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At the age of 27, Poirot entered its peak and seemed perfectly ready to play a key lieutenant role in the preparation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, after having been vice-captain in Japan and leading the team against Tonga, before losing on the role of full-time captain of Charles Ollivon of Toulon.It might not be fair for players to settle for a season after an international rugby season, accumulating caps and funds as Poirot points out, but he certainly could have done it given his skill level.

France’s defeat in the quarterfinals against Wales, a game that France really should have won, overshadowed a fantastic tournament for Bordeaux-Bègles support; one of the best hit tacklers at the World Cup.

Perhaps we should have known that something was wrong during the Six Nations. Poirot’s first cap came off the bench against Italy in the 2016 Six Nations, before a streak of 31 consecutive starts as he established himself on the side.

His demotion on the bench against England and then Italy in this year’s tournament raised some eyebrows, losing a starting role against Cyril Baille of Toulouse. Then Poirot did not participate in the victory against Wales at all, missing Jean-Baptiste Gros’s bench seat.

Order seemed to have been restored when he returned to the starting XV against Scotland, with Baille injured, coincidentally France’s only defeat in the Six Nations so far and the final match before international rugby was interrupted by the pandemic. In conclusion, the recent form of Poirot could easily be interpreted as a simple failure in an otherwise stellar test career.

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