As it transpires, an injury to his spine could mean that he might never play for France again.
The 24-year-old revealed that French medical staff examined his back, and found problems with his spine. As a result, they have classified the condition as a G3 in severity – a technical classification which rules him out of playing professional rugby for France.
Despite the injury, Tolofua stated (writing in French): “However, I would like to reassure everyone. I am not particularly in danger today. To tell you the truth, after these few months at the Saracens and a really intense background work, I’m at a physical fitness level that I’ve never had before, and feel absolutely no pain.”
What’s more, it looks like he will continue playing rugby for Saracens.
“I went back to England where I was taken immediately by the medical staff of the Saracens, who worked on the elements provided by the staff of Fédération Française de Rugby and also gave me additional exams. I then met an independent English specialist to get a second opinion.”
The English specialist gave him the green light to return to play ‘without a shadow of a doubt’. The father of two said he took the situation extremely seriously and that his children ‘needed a healthy dad’.
The 6ft, 117kg front-rower now wants to have his G3 classification lifted in France so he can represent his country once again.
“My priority is to take the necessary steps to return to the French regulations as soon as possible. I’m very well surrounded by my family, the club and my agency. The staff of the French team also make available every time I need them, and I thank them. I would also like to thank you for the hundreds of messages of support I have received all over the social networks.”
Tolofua has 7 caps to date for France. After representing France U20’s, he made his full debut for Les Bleus in 2012 on the French side’s Summer Tour to Argentina as well as playing in the 2017 Six Nations.
RugbyPass has created a next generation rugby rating system, based on machine learning and shaped by game winning moments. The system (RPI) is a world first for its complexity and comprehensive embrace of northern and southern hemisphere players and teams. By using in-depth data analysis, RPI determines exactly what it takes to win, in real time. Explore the RPI now!