Conrad Barnard has left Toulon to look for game time elsewhere
Former Toulon fly-half Conrad Barnard has spoken highly of his French experience despite leaving the club earlier this week.
The 30-year-old South African called time on his Toulon career in order to look for more game time elsewhere.
But despite falling down the pecking order at the Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 3 leaders, Barnard will look back on his time at the Stade Felix-Mayol with nothing but pride.
"I've really enjoyed my experience and the time that I spent in Toulon," Barnard told the website of another of Toulon's South African imports, Ross Skeate.
"The club, the players and the fans have all been absolutely fantastic to me and I've made a great number of friends.
"I really felt though that I needed to be playing and, with the great depth in the squad with guys like Jonny Wilkinson, Felipe Contepomi, Seb Fauque and Tom May, getting regular game-time is really tough.
"I asked the club if they would consider letting me go so that I could look at other opportunities and they were very supportive, so I'm very grateful for that."
And while Barnard is currently back in his native South Africa, European rugby is unlikely to have seen the last of the former Sharks and Cheetahs player.
Barnard has thoroughly enjoyed his time in France and admits he fully intends to return to the country as soon as possible.
"I would definitely consider an offer (from the southern hemisphere's Super 14) should that happen but that's not my focus at this point," added Barnard.
"I'm set on returning to France and exploring my options there.
"I've enjoyed playing in the Top 14 and want to continue with that experience if I can - I feel that I've still got plenty to offer."
Finals Edition: Listen to the best guide to the European Rugby Cup Finals weekend in Dublin, which sees Leinster Rugby take on Stade Francais Paris at the RDS on Friday night in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final and then ASM Clermont Auvergne tackle Toulon in an all-French affair at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.