France head coach Bernard Laporte is backing Sebastien Chabal to make the most of his latest chance on the international stage.
The Sale Sharks number eight has been named in the French team to play Italy in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations Championship opener at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome.
Chabal has not appeared for his country since November 2005 and Laporte has often been critical of the powerhouse back-row forward's work-rate.
But after seeing the 29-year-old put in some strong performances for the English champions over the past three months, Laporte is sure the player will grab his latest opportunity with both hands.
'Sebastien has had some poor performances for the France team,' he said. 'It is for that reason that he left the squad.
'But for three months, he has put in some good displays for Sale. I have spoken about it with Philippe Saint-Andre, his coach, and it seems he experienced a very difficult and chaotic start to the season.
'But since then, he has put in some good performances which have brought about his return.
'The France team is open to those who are performing with their club. We have complete confidence in him and he should be effective for the 80 minutes.'
Chabal is one of a number of returnees in what appears to be an experimental line-up for this weekend.
Les Bleus have gone with a new-look half-back pairing of Pierre Mignoni and David Skrela, the latter back in a France jersey for the first time in almost six years.
Toulouse full-back Clement Poitrenaud is also recalled after a spell in the international wilderness as Laporte juggles his squad following a number of injuries to key players.
Wasps hooker Raphael Ibanez will captain the side in the absence of long-time skipper Fabien Pelous, who is out with an ankle injury.
Wales centre Jonathan Davies admits he is yet to fully come to terms with his devastation after club side Clermont Auvergne suffered a heartbreaking loss in their European final with Toulon on Saturday.