Samoa have been rocked by the news of star lock Joe Tekori’s decision to retire from international duty with immediate effect.
The 35-year-old announced his retirement in a lengthy post on Instagram, saying he made the decision in order to focus exclusively on his career at French champions Toulouse.
Tekori made his Test debut against the Springboks in June 2007 and played his last game against Germany in June 2018. He represented Samoa at the previous three World Cups in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Top 14 clubs have long been criticised for their modus operandi of pressurising Pacific Island players to neglect their national teams in favour of club duties.
Samoa are in Pool A of the 2019 World Cup with Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia.
View this post on Instagram
Today i would like to announce my ending of my International Rugby Career. It was not an easy decision to make but i am blessed and greatful to have been able to put on the blue jersey and play to represent my beautiful Country Samoa. My time has come and to now focus my rugby career on the club i am playing for now. Starting my first Samoa selection 2003 and ending my last game in 2018 My 3 rugby world cup tours to my last game playing for the Manu Samoa last year against Germany for the qualification for the Worldcup 2019. Would like to thank everyone who made it possible for me especially to my Wife and kids for holding it down while i was away for weeks even months and to my family back in Nz and in Samoa Nothing is impossible without the love and support from them. Faafetai tele lava mo tapuaiga ma fautuaga. I also Want to wish the Manu Samoa boys all the best for their preparations for the RUGBY WORLDCUP and for the following years to come. Thank you Samoa Rugby it has been an honour🙏🏾 Faafetai tele lava Joe Tekori