France winger Ethan Dumortier says he hopes to remain humble despite becoming a key player for this year’s Rugby World Cup hosts during the Six Nations.
Dumortier, 22, featured in all but 18 minutes of France’s campaign as they finished second in the table behind Grand Slam winners Ireland.
The Lyon youngster scored twice in five matches for his country and his form has put him in contention for a place in Fabien Galthie’s squad for the World Cup.
“My objective now is to keep my feet on the ground, to remain humble and work hard like I’ve always done,” Dumortier told reporters after France’s 41-28 win over Wales.
“As a player, it’s what you dream of, to play for France.
“It’s a little box that I’ve ticked in my short career. Now the aim is to be here for a long time.”
France’s Six Nations began slowly with a sluggish win at Italy before a humbling defeat by eventual winners Ireland.
They ended the defence of their title with wins over Scotland, England and Wales and scored the most points and tries of the tournament.
“It was difficult at the start to the Six Nations,” Dumortier said.
“It was a little bit mixed. I felt like we weren’t giving it our all in attack, we weren’t at 100 percent.
“We changed and corrected that. At the end of the Six Nations we were much more dangerous.”
‘Lay down a marker’
Dumortier made his Test debut in Rome on the opening weekend and scored after just 26 minutes.
His international call-up came after crossing eight times in 11 league games this season.
“The intensity is a different level, it comes with facing the best players from every country,” he said.
“It allows me, as a Top 14 player, to take things from this, to improve my play in the Top 14 and then work for the next time I play for France.”
Dumortier, who played two seasons for France’s under-20s after coming through the Bourgoin and Lyon academies, faces competition from the likes of Gabin Villiere and Matthis Lebel for a starting berth on the opposite wing to Damian Penaud.
France begin their World Cup campaign against New Zealand on September 8 in Paris after a two-month preparation which will include four warm-up games.
“It’s not up to me if I’ve laid down a marker, it’s up to the coaches if they call me up for the World Cup or not,” Dumortier said.
“I tried to not have any regrets about the Six Nations. We’ll see where the future takes me.
“If I’m lucky enough to be in the World Cup then I’ll give it my all like I did for this Six Nations.”
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