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Hard work pays off for Bastareaud

12th January 2013 11:11

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Mathieu Bastareaud Toulon centre 2012

Mathieu Bastareaud: Given an ultimatum by Bernard Laporte

Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud revealed that a new dedication to training has helped him to force his way back into the reckoning for the France squad.

Bastareaud last featured for France during their 2010 Grand Slam but was named in coach Philippe Saint-Andre's provisional 33-man party for the upcoming Six Nations on Friday.

Toulon boss Bernard Laport said he had told Bastareaud that "if he did not apply himself, it was over".

And the 24-year-old said heLaporte's ultimatum to heart.

"I decided I had to really push myself in training and no longer content myself with just getting by," he told L'Equipe.

"It would have been disrespectful to the club and the supporters. There are a lot of people who would like to be in my place."

Bastereaud will compete for a midfield place with 18-year-old Toulouse centre Gael Fickou as well as incumbent starters Florian Fritz and Maxime Mermoz.

Fickou is excited about the prospect of playing in the Six Nations.

"For me, it is enormous," he said.

"Not long ago I was watching it on television.

"I will do all I can to stay in the group. To play even one game would be exceptional."

Saint-Andre will announce his final squad on January 28.

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