Biarritz prop Fabien Barcella has admitted that his comeback from injury has been difficult but that he wants 'no regrets' about his attempt to get into the France squad for this year's World Cup.
The 27-year-old was regarded as one of the best loosehead props in the world and had collected 12 French caps until he ruptured his Achilles tendon in training last August.
The injury caused him to miss the entire Top 14 season, but he was still named in France coach Marc Lievremont's provisional squad for New Zealand.
"It has been very difficult for me after such a serious injury to start preparing like everyone else. I picked up another injury in my thigh which kept me out for 10 days. It turned out to be nothing too serious but it was difficult because I lost the rythm of training," said Barcella at the France training camp
"Now things are going a bit better and I am back in the thick of some serious rugby training. It is all coming back to me bit by bit. But at a rugby level I still have a long way to go," he added.
France face two friendlies against Ireland in August before Lievremont has to announce his final World Cup squad of 30.
Barcella faces competition in the squad from Thomas Domingo, Jean-Baptiste Poux, Luc Ducalcon, Nicolas Mas and Biarritz teammate Sylvain Marconnet and he remains phlegmatic about his chances of making the cut.
"I like to keep things in perspective," he said.
"A year ago, I was on crutches. I was on crutches for three months. It was a very difficult year so just to be here (in the provisional World Cup squad) is a great moment of joy.
"Later, well we all know the axe will fall and I may very well be left out. I want to try not to regret anything, I will work as hard as I can. If I do get cut it is important for me to be able to say that I did everything possible to be there," he said.
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