France
Thierry Dusautoir retires from France duty
PA Sport
December 4, 2015
Thierry Dusautoir
Thierry Dusautoir© FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

France captain Thierry Dusautoir has announced his retirement from international rugby.

The Toulouse openside, who is France's most-capped player, held talks with new head coach Guy Noves before deciding to call time on his international career.

"I saw him [Noves] this morning," Dusautoir says in L'Equipe. "We arrived at the same conclusions. That is why I am convinced that my choice is dictated by reason.

"If I had tried to continue, forcing it, I would have shown more vanity than anything else. I believe that this is the wisest decision."

It means that Dusautoir's last ever appearance for Les Bleus was the 62-13 mauling at the hands of New Zealand at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup in England.

That heavy defeat, the 34-year-old's 80th cap, caused recriminations and soul-searching in France, leading to Noves being brought in to replace the outgoing Philippe Saint-Andre.

The former Toulouse coach has pledged to bring back the French flair, but his first port of call will now be finding a new talisman.

Dusautoir initially refused to address his future in the immediate aftermath of that loss to New Zealand, saying: ''I haven't even thought about all that to be honest. We just lost the quarter-final and shipped 60 points.

"I'm not thinking about that, but about my team-mates and how to recover because the World Cup is finished for us."

While the impressive back rower's final moment against the All Blacks was not one to savour, some of his greatest Les Bleus highlights came against the best side in the world.

Eight years ago Dusautoir was a ferocious tackling machine as he inspired France to a famous 20-18 victory over Graham Henry's All Blacks in the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup.

In 2011 Dusautoir led his country with distinction at the World Cup in New Zealand as Les Bleus surpassed all expectations to reach the final.

The former Biarritz flanker scored France's only try in the showpiece, although they were ultimately edged out 8-7 by the hosts, but Dusautoir's stellar individual efforts were recognised as he went on to be named IRB player of the year in 2011.

© PA Sport

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