Toulouse lock Yoan Maestri says cleaning up his act on the pitch is the reason he has made the progress required which sees him rewarded with his first start for France against Ireland on Saturday.
The 24-year-old - who like teammates such as Clermont duo Morgan Parra and Wesley Fofana were singled out early on in their careers and put through their paces at the national training centre - replaces veteran and former captain Lionel Nallet in the starting line-up.
Maestri, who came on for 35-year-old Nallet in the 50th minute of last Saturday's comfortable 30-12 win over Italy, said he had taken on board the advice given to him over the years that discipline was the key to improving his image.
"My discipline is what has changed since making my debut for Toulon in 2007," said Maestri, who goes by the surprising nickname of 'Mama'.
"In comparison to previous years it's undeniable that that has improved. It was part of the things that I had to work on.
"The coaches I had at Toulon and then at Toulouse focused me on that (discipline) in order that I didn't penalise the team and the joint work effort. And then up front, there is also a certain experience, a certain authority one has to have in the positions like lock," he explained.
Maestri, whose career has taken on a golden hue since leaving big-spending Toulon and landing at Toulouse, admitted he felt a bit nervous at the thought of starting such an important match in place of a legend like Nallet.
"A little bit, yes," he said when asked about his nerves.
"I would be lying if I said that I was very at ease, but I am going to try and suppress the apprehensive feeling this week during training with as much determination as possible so I arrive with everything needed to play my role.
"I don't want to get too wrapped up in the matter of whether I am nervous or not. It is not here in front of the press that I am going to win the battle with my nerves," he pointed out.
Maestri, who was part of the Toulouse teams that won the 2010 European Cup and the French title last year, said he wasn't fazed by the fact he would along with partner Pascal Pape be up against the legendary Munster duo of Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan in the second row.
"Like all top class international sides, they have a superb second row, who know each other well, it will be very interesting," said the 2.01 metre tall giant.
"Ireland are a great team, very solid. They are dangerous all over the pitch: the line-out and scrum, running the ball, everything... it is imperative we leave nothing to chance."
Maestri said that even though he had represented France at junior level and France 'A' whom he captained in 2010, he knew making the senior side was a gradual process.
"Everything in its own time. If I am here today and I wasn't here yesterday, it is because there is a reason. There is a hell of a lot of work to put in (in order to get here)."
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