Who’s Virimi Vakatawa: Ten issues you must know in regards to the France centre
Virimi Vakatawa made his debut for France in opposition to Italy within the 2016 Six Nations and marked the event with a strive. Listed below are just a few extra details in regards to the star centre…
Ten issues you must learn about Virimi Vakatawa
1. Virimi Vakatawa was born on 1 Could 1992 in Rangiora, New Zealand, and was then raised in Fiji. He stands at 6ft 2in (1.87m) and weighs 15st 6lb (99kg).
2. He moved to France in 2010 to hitch Racing 92 and certified to symbolize les Bleus on residency, enjoying first for the sevens staff in 2013 after which making his 15s debut in 2016.
3. Racing are the one skilled membership Vakatawa has performed for, though he has had two stints there – both aspect of a spell when he was contracted to the France sevens squad (2013-16).
It was reported in 2020 that Premiership membership Gloucester had made a ‘colossal supply’ to signal Vakatawa however they had been left disillusioned as he agreed a brand new take care of Racing.
4.Vakatawa represented France within the sevens competitors on the 2016 Rio Olympics. The staff completed seventh general.
When analysing Vakatawa in Rugby World‘s March 2021 version, Sean Holley mentioned: “The sevens recreation requires tempo and bodily health, but it surely’s additionally the breeding floor for ball expertise, footwork and exploiting house.
“Vakatawa’s means to step defenders, typically a number of occasions in a single sequence, made him a star in that format, coupled with an insatiable urge for food to dump and a physicality that permits him to interrupt tackles, make large hits and fend off would-be tacklers.
“Not many gamers have made the transition from sevens to 15s as efficiently as Vakatawa. Furthermore, few have had the flexibility to transcend each codes by effortlessly exploiting the aforementioned skill-set within the sport’s mom format.”
5. Vakatawa had an embarrassing second in a match between Racing and Toulon in January 2021. Racing’s Teddy Thomas pulled off an excellent offload to launch Vakatawa, however Toulon’s Gabin Villiere tackled him within the in-goal space to dislodge the ball and deny him a strive.
6. He was the highest try-scorer within the 2018-19 High 14 season, touching down 13 occasions, and he was a European Participant of the 12 months nominee in 2020, an award that went to Exeter’s Sam Simmonds.
7. The versatile participant is snug on the wing and within the centre positions. He gained his first 17 Take a look at caps as a winger and his subsequent ten as a centre.
8. He promised his mom shortly earlier than she died that he could be a part of France’s 2019 World Cup squad – and stored that promise.
He made his first Take a look at look in 18 months in a RWC 2019 warm-up in opposition to Italy and performed three matches on the event itself, scoring two tries.
9. Former Wales worldwide Jamie Roberts was shocked at Vakatawa’s talent ranges when he performed alongside him at Racing.
He informed the Rugby Move Offload podcast: “I keep in mind Virimi Vakatawa being this academy child who dropped into coaching and carved everybody up.
“We’d be doing backs unit periods and this man could be simply making us all appear to be idiots. His footwork and his strains. He was younger on the time and right here he’s now, for me one of many world’s greatest gamers. It’s sensible to see how far he has come.”
10. Vakatawa has been described as France’s reply to New Zealand star Sonny Invoice Williams, who additionally performed sevens and 15s in addition to being a grasp of the offload.
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