Racing 92 and France international, Virimi Vakatawa, has been banned from playing rugby in France by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby, due to an unspecified medical issue.
Vakatawa, who was born in New Zealand and raised in Fiji, is known as one of the most dangerous and exciting centres in world rugby, with a lethal combination of French flair and Melanesian size.
Racing 92 have released a statement regarding the issue:
“Racing 92 has just been informed of the decision of the medical commission of the LNR to prohibit Virimi Vakatawa from continuing his professional rugby career in France.
"Particularly saddened by this terrible announcement, Racing 92 gives its full support to Virimi Vakatawa and immediately put in place all the arrangements to support its emblematic player as best as possible in these particularly difficult times."
As long as it is unclear what medical condition Vakatawa is facing, there is a chance, and hope, that he will be able to play professionally outside of France.
What's Next For Virimi Vakatawa?
Full details of the Virimi Vakatawa case will be interesting.
Dmitri Arhip was also banned from playing in France on medical grounds in 2018 having signed for Montpellier, and has subsequently played 58 times for Cardiff.
If Vakatawa can play elsewhere it'll start a bidding war
— Cardiff Rugby Life (@CardiffRugbyWeb) September 5, 2022
Vakatawa has won 32 caps for France, while scoring ten tries, and played in their recent summer tour of Japan.
He moved over to his adopted country at 17 years of age, and competed for the French 7s team at the Rio Olympics.
He was also nominated for the 2020 EPCR Player of the Year award after playing a starring role in Racing's run to the final.
Racing have been drawn in the same group of three with Leinster for the 2022/23 Champions cup, while they will also be facing Harlequins.
They also find themselves in second place of this season's TOP 14, after winning their opening game against Castres.