France centre Mathieu Bastareaud seeking redemption against New Zealand
Last Updated: June 5, 2013 10:14am
Mathieu Bastareaud: Out to impress against New Zealand
Mathieu Bastareaud is intent on proving his worth to France in Saturday's opening Test against New Zealand.
The Toulon star sparked a diplomatic incident in New Zealand in 2009 by falsely claiming he had been assaulted.
The New Zealand prime minister apologised for the attack before it emerged that the player had crashed into a table after a late night.
"I messed up," said Bastareaud. "The only thing I can say, and I have done that, is quite simply to apologise and move on and show that on the pitch I can be a very good rugby player."
France play the first of three Tests against the All Blacks in Auckland on Saturday and Bastareaud is hoping to impress.
"I'm not apprehensive about anyone in particular, they aren't going to eat me," laughed the 24-year-old.
"For me it really is behind me and I am looking ahead. I want to have a good tour here and end a fine season with something big."
"The only thing I can say, and I have done that, is quite simply to apologise and move on and show that on the pitch I can be a very good rugby player."
Toulon were defeated in last weekend's Top 14 final against Castres and Bastareaud admitted he was feeling fatigued.
However, the powerful centre says France are determined to bounce back from a poor Six Nations.
"When you have the chance to take on the world champions here, that's all you think about," he said.
"We lost a lot of confidence during the Six Nations. We did not concentrate in some matches so this is a tour to get going again."