Michalak’s club Stade Toulousain were crowned the champions of France in 2001 when they defeated Montferrand in the final 34–22. Later that year, in November, Michalak made his international debut for France, coming on as a replacement in a match against South Africa in Paris at the national stadium, Stade de France. France won the match 20–10. He was then promoted to the starting line-up for a test against Australia the following week in Marseille by head coach Bernard Laporte. Michalak played the match at scrum-half and scored his first points for France in the match, landing one penalty goal. France won the match by one point, 14–13. He was used as a replacement in the subsequent match against Fiji at Saint-Étienne, which France also won.