Hooker Sebastien Bruno has put his impressive performances for France in this year's RBS 6 Nations tournament down to the experience he has gained at his current English club side Sale.
Bruno, in his first season with the Sharks, emerged as one of the future stars of Les Bleus alongside Julien Laharrague, Nicolas Mas, David Marty, Benoit Baby, Gregory Lamboley and Julien Bonnaire.
France finished second in the RBS 6 Nations table behind Wales, who beat Bernard Laporte's side at the Stade de France on February 26, but managed to pick up wins over Scotland, England, Ireland and Italy.
Bruno is not even a regular in the Sale line-up as he often has to play second fiddle to England hooker Andy Titterrell, but he believes he has improved as a player since his switch across the channel.
"England has transformed me," said Bruno, who was in direct competition with William Servat for the number two position at the start of the tournament.
"I used to be very negative and stressed out but now, thanks to the help of a particular coach at Sale and with Jacques Brunel with the French team, I am calmer and more serene.
"I've changed and improved dramatically within six months."
Bruno claims the tournament has boosted his confidence and has demonstrated his ability to perform at the highest level.
"I feel I have reached another stage in my career," he added. "This tournament showed me I had the level.
"When I first started the tournament I knew William was number one but I did not put any pressure on myself.
"I was there to work hard and I was waiting to get enough time of play to express my game."
Bruno particularly excels in the scrummaging department and he admits he has worked hard to make that facet of the game his forte.
"This is a sector which has become my priority and was often the topic of discussions with William and the other players of the front row."
As head coach Stuart Lancaster polishes the axe he will soon wield over his World Cup training squad, Exeter Chiefs coach Rob Baxter has backed Jack Nowell, Henry Slade and Luke Cowan-Dickie to be given a stay of execution.
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.