End of an era at Biarritz – Barcella

Date published: July 3 2014

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France prop Fabien Barcella spoke of the “end of an era” as he swapped relegated Biarritz for champions of Europe, Toulon.

France prop Fabien Barcella spoke of the “end of an era” as he swapped relegated Biarritz for champions of Europe, Toulon.

Barcella had spent six years with the Basque side, a period of highs and lows, with silverware followed by the ultimate failure with last season's demotion to the Pro D2.

And the 30-year-old admitted that, for his time with the club, the end of the road had been reached.

“It was hard to leave,” Barcella conceded to RugbyRama.

“But we had a disastrous season. We turned over a new page with Damien Traille leaving and Dimitri Yachvili retiring. It was the end of an era. I want to see something else.”

The hulking front-row has 20 French Tests to his name, and has high hopes of adding to them as the World Cup looms on the horizon. In Toulon, he saw a “huge opportunity” to better himself, with the club's phenomenal training facilities and unique blend of all-star talent proving an irresistible lure.

“It will take time to adapt and I must work hard because there is a change of level,” admitted Barcella.

“The competition is strong. In my position, there are three top players plus Andrew Sheridan if he returns. But I look forward to getting to know the group and representing Toulon.

“The climate is not the same as Biarritz. I saw the club facilities with the training centre, the weights room – there is everything on-site; it is awesome.”

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