Rugby World Cup: Frederic Michalak retires from France duty

Frederic Michalak
Frederic Michalak has played in three World Cups for France
Rugby World Cup, 18 September - 31 October
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France's record points scorer Frederic Michalak has retired from international rugby following the 63-13 World Cup quarter-final defeat by New Zealand.

The 33-year-old fly-half limped off with a thigh injury during Saturday's match at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

The Toulon player ends his 14-year France career with 77 caps and played in three World Cups.

Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape, 35, has also retired from international duty after winning 65 caps.

Michalak, whose contract with Toulon runs until 2016, said: "It's a sad end but my body can't respond any more."

He ended his international career with 436 points - more than any other Frenchman - and 136 World Cup points, again another record for his country.

Pape joined outgoing France coach Philippe Saint-Andre in calling for structural changes to the French domestic season to help the national side.

"The national team comes last," said Pape. "It is time that everyone in French rugby sit around a table and make the France team a priority.

"If this does not happen the next coach will face the same problems."

Saint-Andre, 48, who will be replaced by Toulouse coach Guy Noves next month, claimed many France players had played too many club games ahead of the World Cup.

"We are in the same stage as English soccer. Our players play 40 games a year but New Zealand players play 25 games a year," he said.

"That's not rugby, we are in a box."

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