Paris (AFP)

The captain of the French rugby team Charles Ollivon "respects the choice" of Jefferson Poirot to retire internationally, the third line told AFP on Tuesday.

Sunday, the left pillar (36 caps, 27 years old), vice-captain of the Blues at the World Cup in Japan, had indeed announced to make a cross on the XV of France, preferring to focus on his club career.

"I know Jeff, he's a super honest person. I respect Jeff's choice," Ollivon told AFP.

"The French team requires that we devote a maximum of energy to it. It's the international level, we really have to give everything. We don't have the right to be 99% there. I hope a day to postpone the blue jersey with Jeff. It is a dream to be able to continue playing as much as possible with this team from France because it is the highest level and that, personally, I really enjoy, "added the Toulonnais.

The Bordeaux-Bègles player had warned his now ex-teammates, as well as the Blues staff, before making his announcement.

"We had a little discussion before the various media outings. He warned the players of the France team of his choice. We were able to talk about it but not long," said Ollivon.

Removable during the Brunel era, with 31 tenures since his debut in Blue in February 2016, Poirot then saw his position vacillate in the France group since the elimination against Wales (19-20), in the quarterfinals of the Mondial-2019, and the arrival of Fabien Galthié as coach.

Vice-captain in Japan, his name had a time circulated to take over from Guilhem Guirado. But ultimately Charles Ollivon was chosen captain.

Confined to an unusual replacement role during the last Six Nations Tournament, Poirot had even been put out of the group during the match against Wales, doubled in the hierarchy by the young Cyril Baille (Toulouse) and Jean-Baptiste Gros ( Toulon).

© 2020 AFP