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France great Michalak calls time on storied career

By Peter Thompson

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Record-breaking former France fly-half Frederic Michalak has announced he will retire at the end of the season.


Michalak, Les Bleus’ all-time leading points scorer with 436 from 77 Tests, will end his illustrious career when Lyon’s campaign comes to a close next year.

The mercurial 35-year-old started out with Toulouse in 2000 and had two spells with South African franchise Sharks – the first in 2008 and the second from 2011 until 2012 – before a switch to Toulon, who he left for Lyon last year.

Michalak won three Six Nations Grand Slams and played in as many World Cups before retiring from international rugby in 2015.

“After a long period of reflection and despite an offer from a club, I am calling an end to my career at the end of this season,” Michalak said on Monday.

“I still want to play but it will be the same situation if I push on for a year. It is not mental, it is the body which says to stop.

“You have to know when to stop. I am 35 and it is starting to become more and more difficult. I told myself this year is the right time to finish.”


The French Rugby Federation tweeted: “Although it is not yet completely finished, well done @michalakfred for your great career! Thanks for everything!”

Lyon sit third in the Top 14, six points adrift of leaders La Rochelle, and are second in Pool 2 of the European Challenge Cup.


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