French captain Thierry Dusautoir has called it a day after 80 caps with Les Bleus. The flanker will go down as one of the greats of the professional era, and will be remembered for his amazing performances against New Zealand in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.
Dusautoir ended his Frace career on a low, with a heavy quarter-final loss to the All-Blacks. However, as a new era of French rugby dawns with Guy Noves taking over from Phillippe Saint-Andre, the Toulouse back-row player has indicated that he will make way for young talent.
The 34 year-old has a long history with Noves through their time together at Toulouse, and it is clear that the coach understood his decision.
“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.”
In the immediate aftermath of the 62-13 loss at the Millennium Stadium last month, Dusautoir refused to be drawn in on speculation about his future.
“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.”
He will be remembered for his passion, work-rate and determination as he led by example time and time again. Simply, he is one of the great leaders the Northern Hemisphere has seen.
We’ll leave you with this. What a machine.