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Michalak, who has won the RBS 6 Nations four times, including three Grand Slams, is determined to become a regular in Philippe Saint-André’s French side, for whom he started at fly-half against Argentina this summer.
He said: “I could have stayed with the Sharks but to play for France, which remains one of my objectives, it’s important to play in France, if only for the calendar.
“(Toulon chairman) Mourad Boudjellal contacted me quite early last season. With Bernard Laporte they believed in my abilities. I want to thank them because at that time not many clubs would have gambled on me.”
Having played at both scrum-half and fly-half internationally, Michalak offers a versatile option to Laporte at Mayol.
However the former French boss revealed that it was at ten, in competition with Jonny Wilkinson, where Michalak will play the majority of his rugby this season.
Laporte added: “I think he is better suited to playing at fly-half. Even though I’m sure he would play at scrum-half if the club needed him to. At the moment we have Sebastien Tillous-Borde and Nicolas Durand at scrum-half and Jonny Wilkinson and Frederic Michalak at fly-half.
“We’re really proud that he is joining the squad at Toulon. We will need him, we are involved in two high-level competitions, the Top 14 and the Heineken Cup. To succeed in both you need at least 30 players at the same level.
“Clermont and Toulouse have shown it over the last few years. Frederic’s arrival follows that logic, of having two top quality fly-halves.”