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Top 14: “I still have a lot to find,” warns Ntamack back with Toulouse

Toulouse's international fly-half Romain Ntamack had "a lump in his stomach" before making his return to competition during the snatched victory against Pau (31-29) in the Top 14, almost eight months after his serious injury to the left knee.

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Top 14: “I still have a lot to find,” warns Ntamack back with Toulouse

Toulouse's international fly-half Romain Ntamack had "a lump in his stomach" before making his return to competition during the snatched victory against Pau (31-29) in the Top 14, almost eight months after his serious injury to the left knee.

How did you experience this return? Romain Ntamck: It feels good. I couldn't wait to get back on track, to get back on the pitch, to play again with my friends. I was a little short of breath just from warming up. I tried to manage the first balls I had as best as possible. I regained a little of the sensations I had before I got injured. I was able to play duels, make contacts. These are good feelings that come back and at least the apprehension goes away fairly quickly.

Were you touched by the welcome you received from the Toulouse public? I was really looking forward to the atmosphere of the bus, the descent, the supporters... It was really a special moment. I felt a little upset before getting off the bus. I tried to enjoy it all, even if I remained quite focused on the match. These are the moments that I was waiting for, that's also why I worked to come back. It's been a long time since I played Ernest-Wallon.

Was this long absence difficult to live with? The World Cup was quite a long time to live through. Afterwards I went through a fairly simple rehabilitation I think, I had no complications, the knee always reacted very well when we went through the stages. We have always been able to work very well. I honestly enjoyed my rehabilitation, it allowed me to do something else, to think about something other than rugby. I had my weekends off, which allowed me to rest, see my friends and family, and move around.

What are the goals for the end of the season? I still have a lot of ambition. I know I'm coming back from a long injury. Players have done the job so far, I'm not coming back immediately wanting to get the starting jersey back. I still have a lot of things to find, to rework (...) I will try to improve everything I did during my rehabilitation to be an even better player. It's still a little early to know.

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