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Michalak staying with Toulon

Tue, 11 Mar 2014 07:45
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We believe he will regain his best form
Quote-end

France international Frederic Michalak extended his contract with European champions Toulon for another season, which will tie him to them until June 2015.

The unpredictable 31-year-old 68-times capped halfback had been linked with several other teams including Top 14 rivals Grenoble as he has found himself battling for a regular first team place this season.

His play time had been affected by his late return to fitness - he became available for selection in late October - after he dislocated his shoulder on last June's tour of New Zealand.

Michalak, who has started in just five of the 11 matches in which he has featured in both the Top 14 and European Cup this season and has lost his place in the national squad, had been in negotiations with Toulon, whom he joined in 2012 from Durban outfit the Sharks, for the past few weeks.

His extension - with the option of adding another year - is well-timed as it comes a few weeks after Castres' South African kicking scrumhalf Rory Kockott performed a u-turn and opted not to join Toulon after all and remain with the French champions.

"We held discussions over a long period of time to sort out some differences," Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal said.

"It was a complicated dossier but we got there in the end. I don't think either party hesitated over the signing, even if was a drawn out affair.

"I don't think Fred ever envisaged leaving Toulon and from our side there was never any question of letting him go. We believe he will regain his best form."

Michalak's best form for the club saw him be a pivotal member of the side that won last season's European Cup and reach the Top 14 final, where they were surprisingly beaten by Castres.

Michalak, though, has rarely reproduced the form that saw him win three European Cups and two French titles with his first club Toulouse and be France's undisputed first choice flyhalf at the 2003 World Cup at the age of just 20.
 
AFP

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