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Atonio set to reverse retirement plans

Atonio set to reverse retirement plans

France prop Uini Atonio will be available for the 2024 Guinness Six Nations following a reversal to his international retirement plans.

The 33-year-old announced his decision to quit Test rugby alongside second row Romain Taofifenua following the Rugby World Cup quarter-final defeat to eventual champions South Africa.

But reports have suggested that a conversation with head coach Fabien Galthie has prompted a rethink, with Atonio set to add to his 57 caps in the new year.

Atonio established himself as a vital cog in Galthie’s side, starting all five matches as France roared to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2022.

He started four matches at the World Cup, including the quarter-final defeat, but it remains to be seen if he will continue to hold favouritism ahead of Dorian Aldegheri and Sipili Falatea.

The tighthead made his return to action last weekend as a replacement in La Rochelle’s 18-15 win over Bayonne in the Top 14.

France begin their Guinness Six Nations campaign with a mouth-watering clash against holders Ireland in Marseille, with the Stade de France undergoing redevelopment ahead of the 2024 Olympics.

They then travel to Scotland in Round 2 ahead of a home fixture against Italy in Lille.

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Next is a trip to Wales in Round 4 before Galthie’s side bring the curtain down on the 2024 Championship, hosting England in Lyon.