Noa Nakaitaci is happy to see the back of a difficult 2016 after appearing for France in the Six Nations against England.
The 26-year-old Clermont wing was not selected for last year’s Six Nations or June Tests by head coach Guy Novès, eventually returning against Australia and New Zealand last November.
Nakaitaci started for France at Twickenham, in a backline dominated by players from les Jaunards including Camille Lopez, Rémi Lamerat and Scott Spedding, and admitted that the criticism he received last year had been tough to take.
“I was happy to be back after a year off. The coaches showed faith in me and that did me good after a difficult World Cup for everyone,” Nakaitaci told the Six Nations website.
“People were hard on me, and just talking about it still has an effect. It took me time to come back from that.
“I was all over the place mentally but I was able to overcome all that.
“I was proud to show that I was capable of getting back to my level. This recall was my reward after a difficult year. It was like a renaissance.”