Michalak raring to go
Back in the Top 14 after Super Rugby duty with the Sharks, Frédéric Michalak is eyeing a place in France's squad when he debuts for Toulon.
Michalak, capped 54 times for Les Bleus, has been lured from his beloved Toulouse to play for Toulon - the Mourad Boudjellal-funded Mediterranean club which already boasts ex-England talisman Jonny Wilkinson and Australian playmaker Matt Giteau among their ranks.
The mercurial 29-year-old fly-half has been in impressive form of late, having helped guide the Sharks to the Super Rugby final against the Chiefs. It didn't end well, however, with the South African outfit going down 37-6 in Hamilton.
Michalak is now back home, where he is hoping to transfer his new-found form on the Super Rugby stage to the Top 14 and then - if things go his way - the Test arena.
"The France team is one of my goals and it's for that reason I wanted to come back to France," said Michalak.
"The fact that Mourad Boudjellal contacted me very early, at a time when few clubs were sniffing around, made the difference. I hope to finish my career here and go as far as possible with Toulon."
Michalak is not certain to be a starter for Saturday's away match at Perpignan, with Toulon still awaiting a licence. But Toulon coach Bernard Laporte said he wanted him to "be competitive as soon as possible".
"I don't feel tired, but I want to respect the life of the squad that has suffered during pre-season training. I'll play when the coach decides," said Michalak.
"Bernard is someone who helped bring me to the highest level with the France team. He knows me well, I know his desire to win, to take players as far as possible."