Michalak will swim with the Sharks

France fly-half Frederic Michalak is to leave Toulouse for the Durban-based Sharks in South Africa at the end of the current French Championship season.

“I have signed a contract with the Sharks which will run from June 2007 to June 2008,” Michalak told a news conference on Friday.

Michalak’s decision comes after a month of deliberating, which mainly centred on his future in the France national side.

A move away from the French Championship to the Super 14 means his schedule will clash with future Six Nations tournaments, casting a major doubt over his possibility for selection.

However, the Toulouse talisman has decided to take that risk, and he leaves the club having won two Heineken Cups and one Top 14 title.

Toulouse manager Guy Noves admitted he was “saddened to lose a player of such class”.

“We were aware of his plans, so there’s no surprise. We would obviously have preferred to keep him,” Noves said.

“We know that our players are the target of big clubs and a star like him has no shortage of offers.”

Michalak is currently sidelined by a knee injury, which is expected to keep him out of action until mid-March, leaving him little time to forge his case for a place in the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.

The Sharks currently boast a number of Springboks in their team including South Africa skipper John Smit, veteran full-back Percy Montgomery, fly-half Butch James and current Bok wonderboy Francois Steyn.

365 Digital

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