Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global

Vakatawa retirement is over as Barbarians pick him to face Samoa

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

It’s official: The premature retirement of former France midfielder Virimi Vakatawa is over as he has been named to start in the Barbarians team that will play Samoa this Friday in a Rugby World Cup warm-up match in Brive.


It was this time last year that the then 30-year-old French player announced that he had to retire from playing with immediate effect

The world of rugby was left in shock when it emerged that the 32-cap Test centre had been banned from playing by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby’s medical committee.

Video Spacer

Video Spacer

Vakatawa went on to host a media conference at the Racing 92 training centre in Paris to explain that a cardiac issue was why he must suddenly quit playing.

However, 12 months later, RugbyPass exclusively reported on August 5 that Vakatawa was in line for a sensational return.

That retirement has now officially ended following his selection in the Pat Lam-coached Baa-Baas team for this weekend’s match in France where Vakatawa will partner former Wallabies midfielder Curtis Rona in an XV that also features standby Springboks RWC players, scrum-half Herschel Jantjies and hooker Joseph Dweba.

BARBARIANS (vs Samoa): 15. T Nanai-Williams; 14. T Fricker, 13. V Vakatawa, 12. C Rona, 11. H Speight, 10. A Frisch, 9. H Jantjies; 1. A Seuili, 2. J Dweba, 3. J Toomoga-Allen, 4. JL du Preez, 5. R Hugo, 6. D Richardson, 7. J Lam, 8. M Eadie. Reps: 16. A Venter, 17. R Evans, 18. S Longwell, 19. J Tekori, 20. Y Sakamoto, 21. M Green, 22. J Williams, 23. D Hoyland.


Join free

Boks Office | Jesse Kriel reveals the hardest team he had to play at the Rugby World Cup

Big Jim Walks and Talks with Handré Pollard

My Best Half | Episode Two | Katelyn Vahaakolo & Patricia Maliepo

Bernard Jackman & Stuart Hogg | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

Wildknights v Sungoliath

Beyond 80 | Episode 2

Rugby Europe Men's Championship | Georgia v Spain | Full Match Replay


Trending on RugbyPass


Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE Levelling the playing field for state-school youngsters Levelling the playing field for state-school youngsters