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French legend Diallo retires from international rugby

Coumba Diallo

France great Coumba Diallo has called time on her international career after winning 50 caps for Les Bleues.

The versatile forward who can play in the second row and the back row helped France to Grand Slam titles in 2014 and 2018 and won her 50th cap in a win over South Africa last November.

And she has decided the time is right to bring the curtain down on her Test career, although she will continue to play club rugby.

In a long post on Twitter, Diallo said: “It will be 50 caps. The first memories that come to mind are my first Marseillaise and my last cap at Vannes, cheered on by the supporters as I came onto the pitch for my 50th.

“I often told myself that you never know when it will be your last.

“After a lot of thought I think to myself that I managed 11 years in the France team. I find it hard to say but I’m proud of myself and the journey I have taken. I’ve seen girls arrive in this team, leave the team and come back. Now it’s my turn.

“We’re all passing through in this France team, I hope I’ve left a little bit of myself. I’ve got no regrets, I have always been authentic, straight, I never cheated and I think I gave everything each time I was there.

“Thank you to Les Bleues, thank you to France Rugby, to the employees, to the food personnel etc. Thank you to the coaches who believed in me, thank you to the people who supported me, thank you to Club de Bobigny who launched into the top level.

“And in all humility, thank you to myself. Being an international is not easy, there are highs, lows, injuries and joy, disappointment and victories and lots of other positive emotions.

“I’m not stopping rugby, I think my old body and mind still needs to give a bit more on the pitch, and lots off it. The environment where I have been is a school of life, I have learned a lot about myself, to accept myself as a woman and I have the duty now to give back and transmit that.

“I’m not sad, there are no regrets, I’m not disappointed. I’m turning the page, I can say that my book as a France international is closing but I’ll open it gladly if that can inspire others.

“It’s done, I’m getting started, I’m focusing on the future. I have lots of projects in place, I can’t wait for you to hear about them.

“I’ve not said my last word.”