Virimi Vakatawa is set to take his place on the world stage once again as he’s named to start in a Barbarians team to face Samoa in Brive this Saturday.
This will be Vakatawa’s first foray back into top-class international rugby since his shock and immediate retirement this time last year.
The Ligue Nationale de Rugby’s medical committee had banned the French international from playing professional rugby due to a cardiac issue that could have caused the player harm should he continue playing.
His retirement from the sport has not lasted long, however, with the now 31-year-old lining up in his familiar outside centre position as he takes in the atmosphere from a rugby-mad Brive stadium.
Here’s our lineup to play @manusamoa 💪
1. A Seuili
2. J Dweba
3. J Toomoga-Allen
4. J-L du Preez
5. R Hugo
6. D Richardson
7. J Lam
8. M Eadie
— Barbarian FC (@Barbarian_FC) August 16, 2023
BARBARIANS (vs Samoa): 15. T Nanai-Williams; 14. T Fricker, 13. V Vakatawa, 12. C Rona, 11. H Speight, 10. A Frisch, 9. H Jantjies; 1. A Seuili, 2. J Dweba, 3. J Toomoga-Allen, 4. JL du Preez, 5. R Hugo, 6. D Richardson, 7. J Lam, 8. M Eadie. Reps: 16. A Venter, 17. R Evans, 18. S Longwell, 19. J Tekori, 20. Y Sakamoto, 21. M Green, 22. J Williams, 23. D Hoyland.
The former French international scored 10 tries in his 32-caps as he became one of the most feared centres in world rugby.
A former 7s player and a Racing 92 stalwart, Vakatawa’s highlight reel is something special: