Samoa have been hit by a setback ahead of the Rugby World Cup after experienced second-row Joe Tekori announced his international retirement.
The 35-year-old revealed the news on Instagram on Tuesday, with the tournament less than two months away from kicking off in Japan.
Tekori plays for Top 14 giants Toulouse and will now focus solely on matters with the French champions, which is a big blow for Samoa.
Samoa are drawn in Pool A of 2019’s World Cup with Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Russia, starting against the latter on September 24.
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