France prop Nicolas Mas admits he went through a torrid time in Australia but has vowed to bounce back ahead of the World Cup.
France prop Nicolas Mas admits he went through a torrid time in Australia but has vowed to bounce back ahead of next year's World Cup.
The veteran Montpellier tighthead led France for the first time in the opening Test against the Wallabies in June, but endured a nightmare game as France were crushed 50-23.
Mas, who has won 73 caps for France during an 11-year international career, was dropped to the bench for the second Test before being left out of the matchday squad altogether for the final match.
The former Perpignan captain admits that he was struggling with homesickness, while last year he also found life tough adapting to the new scrum protocols.
While he is still part of France's elite squad this season, he faces a tough battle to regain a starting spot ahead of promising youngster Rabah Slimani.
However Mas believes that a long break over the off-season was just what he needed to recharge the batteries, and insists he will be fit and firing come 2015.
“It wasn't easy to go through,” he told L'Equipe.
“I really wasn't well, I was a long way away, from everything, from my wife, from my children.
“There were a lot of different feelings. The pride of being captain, the lack of understanding when it came to the game and the scrum. And there was this tiredness.
“I wasn't in a state where I could play an important role, and I didn't want to take a chance with my health.
“I had a good break for four weeks, the seasons are long and I'm starting to need some time off. I spent a lot of time with my family and that's vital for some balance.
“I've been coming and going for a few years now and with my wife, my two sons and my daughter [born during France's New Zealand tour last year], we missed each other.
“Of course I'm thinking about the World Cup and I will do everything I can to get there.
“But there is a way to go before we get there, and it can't just be a target in itself. I want to get there in the best possible form.
“That's one of the reasons I came to Montpellier, to face some new challenges, and a little less game time.”