France fly-half Yann Delaigue admits he has "written off" his chances of international rugby in favour of regular first-team action after moving from Castres to Pro D2 side Toulon.
The 33-year-old, who had one year left on his contract with Castres, is one of several top players recruited by Toulon's ambitious joint-president Mourad Boudjellal, following former New Zealand captain Tana Umaga and Ireland centre Rob Henderson.
Toulon were relegated to the Pro D2 after finishing bottom of the Top 14 but Delaigue is convinced joining the minor side will be beneficial to his career, even if he knows his chance of being part of the French squad for the 2007 World Cup might fade away for good.
''I knew that I would experience a difficult season with Castres because the coach Laurent Seigne was not planning to pick me,'' Delaigue told L'Equipe.
''For him, I was the second or third-choice fly-half. By joining a Pro D2 team I am sort of writing off my international career, but if I'd stayed with Castres it would have been the same.
''I am now returning to Toulon, who I left in 1997 to join Toulouse before moving to Castres in 2004.''
Boudjellal also insisted the arrival of Delaigue marked an end to the club's summer recruitment drive, although he hinted there will be more to come during the autumn.
''We are going to stop our recruitment for now,'' he added.
''But we still have the possibility of snatching another foreign player and I can already say that there will be another big player joining us in October.''
Toulon's new signings have captured the imagination of the people as, according to Boudjellal, season ticket sales have been boosted by more than 300%.
''Last year we were selling about 200 season tickets a day, this year we are already at 700,'' he added.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.