RUGBY. End of the adventure for Virimi Vakatawa in Bristol: an uncertain future for the former Habs?

French international center Virimi Vakatawa, 32, will no longer wear the Bristol Bears jersey next season. The English club confirmed that the player, who scored four tries in 19 appearances last seasonwill continue his career elsewhere.

Rugby. Premiership. What happens to former French international Virimi Vakatawa with his Bristol club?This news comes after the Bears offered Vakatawa a chance to return to professional rugby. A medical decision in France linked to a heart disease had in fact initially forced him to end his career.

Recruited by Bristol after a remarkable performance with the Barbarians under the leadership of Pat Lam last year, Vakatawa quickly found his feet in the West Country. An independent board of cardiologists declared the former Racing 92 player fit to play again, thus allowing his long-awaited return to the field.

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam expressed his gratitude to Vakatawa: “V has made an exceptional impact on and off the pitch and has rewarded the trust the club has placed in him. Overcoming challenges after an absence from the game shows the quality of the man. It was a real privilege to have a player of that caliber at the Bears.”

RUGBY. VIDEO. Vakatawa bus scores thunderous try in EnglandVakatawa’s departure leaves a void in the Bears’ center options, especially with Piers O’Conor moving to Connacht. Bristol will have to rely on James Williams, Benhard Janse van Rensburg and Kalaveti Ravouvou, as well as young Joe Jenkins, to fill this gap ahead of the 2024/25 season.

For his part, Vakatawa expressed his gratitude to the club: “Thanks to Pat and the Bears for having me. I loved my time here, even though it only lasted one season. The boys and all the staff were fantastic. Thank you also to the fans for their unfailing support.

Vakatawa’s future destination remains uncertain. For the moment, it is still impossible for him to evolve in France. But he doesn’t seem ready to hang up his crampons yet. Will the former French sevens and XV international bounce back elsewhere in the Premiership or try the adventure in another championship?

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