Veteran Samoa forward Joe Tekori has announced his immediate retirement from international duty, less than two months from the start of the Rugby World Cup.
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 Toulouse.
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
Tekori helped Samoa to qualify by beating Germany in a two-legged play-off last year & didn’t feature for the Pacific Islanders in last year’s November Tests – instead playing for Toulouse in the Top 14.
He also recently helped Toulouse to Top 14 success, starting the final victory over Clermont.
Tekori gave no indication of being discouraged from featuring for Samoa in his retirement statement on Instagram, but his absence will be a blow to the Samoans.
Samoa are in Pool A of the 2019 World Cup with Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia.