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Noves Lukes past Michalak

Toulouse coach Guy Noves has attempted to shed light on the events which look set to lead to Frederic Michalak's departure from the club.

The signings of Australian scrum-half Luke Burgess and New Zealand stand-off Luke McAlister mean opportunities will be limited for the France half-back, who made his debut for the club 10 years ago at the age of 18.

Noves insists Michalak himself stalled on talks over his role next season, telling L'Equipe: "We set out our plans to Fred. He took a very long time to make a decision. I said I saw him playing at nine next season and he didn't know how to answer me. I gave him a month and a half to reflect on it. After five weeks, he had not thought about it."

He added: "We are in professional rugby. We have to move forward, to move quickly. The time passed and we have taken our decisions. Today, we have signed two southern hemisphere players.

"We like Fred. I gave him his chance at 18, I am very attached to him. If he chooses other climes, we will try to help him leave on the best terms."

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