FORMER national Digicel 7s playmaker Joji Ragamate departed the country for greener pastures yesterday.
The Cakaudrove wizard will join Flying Fijians crack centre Saula Radidi for Dax Rugby Club in the French Top 14 competition.
Ragamate said the decision to play in France was thoroughly discussed with his employer before tendering his resignation with Fiji Corrections Services.
He said he was looking forward to plying his trade with some of the best in the business in France.
"This is one of the targets of local rugby players — to secure rugby contracts and I am grateful to have finally secured this contract," said Ragamate.
"I thanked the Almighty God for blessing me with rugby talents to achieve yet another milestone in my rugby career.
"Playing in France will further develop my game since I will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best international players."
Ragamate also thanked the Fiji Rugby Union, Wardens Rugby Club and the Namosi team for their support and upbringing which enabled him to secure the contract.
"I also like to thank my family and all those that have contributed to my successful rugby career," he said.
"Playing in France comes with a mammoth challenge and I am ready to give my best shot and show my worth to my new team."
Ragamate made his IRBS 7s last year helping the Alivereti Dere-coached side to win the Hong Kong 7s.
In that same year he toured with the national 7s team to IRBS tournaments in Scotland, England, Gold Coast 7s, Dubai and George 7s.
Later this year he played at the Wellington and USA 7s before reaching a pinnacle in his 7s career representing Fiji at the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia.
He won three IRB 7s tournament and was the player of the tournament at the Gold Coast 7s in Australia where Fiji defeated New Zealand in the final.
Ragamate also featured for Namosi in the provincial competition.
His departure will leave a void in the national 7s team but he was optimistic that Fiji has many talented players to take the Fiji 7s team to newer heights.