The colossal Frenchman will play a sabbatical season in The Big Apple
Mathieu Bastareaud Signs For Rugby United New York
Despite getting an offer to play Super Rugby from the Durban-based Sharks, colossal Frenchman Mathieu Bastareaud is heading to the United States for a sabbatical season after the Rugby World Cup.
“I’ve decided to join New York after the World Cup,” Bastareaud told Canal+ after Toulon’s Top 14 win over Bordeaux-Begles on Sunday.
“I wanted a change. It’s the best compromise for me in terms of my family life and life experience.”
The New York side he mentions is called Rugby United New York and he is unquestionably the biggest name to head over to the United States. He will head over for one year and then return to Toulon and the south of France to play out the final year of his contract.
The deal was put together by Toulon’s owner Mourad Boudjellal and New York’s French general manager Pierre Arnald. Patrice Collazo, the head coach of Toulon also gave his blessing to the deal saying to Agence France Presse;
“Mathieu Bastareaud is a guy apart. He has made history at this club and has given a lot,
“He needs to see something else and breathe a little bit. He’s going to discover New York.
“He’ll be a different man on his return. In the last three games [of the season], I want to see a great Mathieu Bastareaud.”
“We’re very pleased to officially announce the signing of Bastareaud for the 2020 season, he’s a world class player,” Rugby United general manager James English said on the clubs website. “Details are being finalized but we are very excited to have him on loan from Toulon.
“He’s gonna bring a lot of experience and will be a big presence on and off the field for RUNY. This also gives us a great opportunity to further connect with our French fan base here in NYC.”
This is the second marquee signing by the club after they signed Ben Foden last year.
With the World Cup fast approaching, follow our Rugby World Cup homepage which we update regularly with news and features.