Vahaamahina feeling free under Noves

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 20:54
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SIX NATIONS SPOTLIGHT: France international forward Sebastien Vahaamahina says he's coming out of his shell under Guy Noves after losing his way during the Philippe Saint-Andre era.

The giant second row, who stands 2.03-metres tall, was instrumental in France's try during their narrow 16-19 loss to England at Twickenham  last Saturday.

And the 25-year-old, rejuvenated under Noves, says he's changed since making the first of his 22 international appearances back in 2012.

"I have my way of thinking, which didn't fit with that of certain others," Vahaamahina said of his past international experiences.

"Consequently, I went into my shell, I didn't want to talk to anyone, and naturally that blocks everything with everyone.

"Now I'm able to be a lot more open, to speak."

Born in the French oversees territory of New Caledonia, Vahaamahina began his professional rugby career at Brive in 2010 before joining Perpignan and then Clermont.

In and out of the France team under Saint-Andre, Vahaamahina has established himself as a first-choice lock with Noves, who picked him from the start in November against New Zealand and Australia, and again on Saturday for the trip to England.

He is likely to play a significant role, particularly in the line-out, on Sunday against Scotland in Paris.

He says he's "much freer" under Noves than he was with Saint-Andre.

"He's finally delivered on the immense potential we knew he had," said France's forwards coach Yannick Bru.

"He's flourishing in the current more attacking environment with France."

Agence France-Presse

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