England international Magnus Lund admits moving to French side Biarritz does not enhance his prospects of getting back in the England squad but he still believes he has an international future.
The flanker left Sale in the summer after six years having won the Premiership title with them in 2006.
The 25-year-old was at that time being touted as one of the leading up-and-coming back-row forwards in the country and he made it into England's 2006/07 Elite squad after a successful tour to Australia.
He played for England in the 2007 RBS 6 Nations Championship, scoring a try against Scotland on the opening weekend of the tournament.
But he admits he was not at his consistent best last season as the Sharks failed to make it into the Premiership play-offs, and he was ready for a new challenge.
"I definitely felt I needed to make a break and have a change, and I think this is a great move for me," added Lund, who was born in Manchester but whose family hails from Norway.
"It will improve my game playing in a different country. It's a great place to be and it's a great challenge. I liked the place as soon as I came over here.
"I did struggle (last season). I thought I had a few cracking games but I had my ups and downs, which was difficult to explain.
"But I am still young and I still have a lot to learn."
As for his international future, Lund hopes his performances for Biarritz compel new England manager Martin Johnson to select him.
"We will see what happens with England," he said.
"There is definitely a danger that when you leave England, you can get forgotten about. It is not at all like being in England, you aren't as much in the spotlight and in the media.
"But I can't decide to come to Biarritz and then worry about not getting in the England squad.
"If I am playing well here, hopefully it will be noticed by England and I can get back involved."
Lund came to France with limited knowledge of the language, but he is having French lessons every week and many of his team-mates speak English. He knows Valentin Courrent and Benoit Bourrust from their days with him at Sale.
Lund feels he is improving with every game.
"I don't think I had a great start, but I have got better and I thought I played well in the last two matches," he said.
"It's a really good standard. The game in Toulouse was high in quality, with lots of intensity and it was physical. In fact, it was one of the toughest games I have played in.
"I think it's more open than the Premiership. The players play with the ball in hand more but it remains just as physical.
"I think you can see from the calibre of people who are coming here that they are impressed with the French league."
Josh Strauss has a Scotland call-up in the back of his mind but the Glasgow Warriors back-row admits he must build on an impressive first two seasons in the country to catch Vern Cotter's attention in time for the World Cup.