View Full Version : Bastareaud finally joins Toulon

psychic duck
09-07-11, 10:49 AM
Bastareaud has sealed the deal with Boudjellal

Wantaway centre Mathieu Bastareaud has been granted his wish to leave Stade Français and will join Toulon for next season.

Bastareaud came through the Stade Français youth system and it is a huge blow for the Parisians to lose their marquee player, who puts bums on seats.

Bastareaud has had an off relationship with the France national team, after suffering his infamous incident on tour in New Zealand, he returned successfully in France's 2010 Grand Slam but his last match for the XV de France was the Grand Slam winning game against England. He was criticized in the Autumn by national coach Marc Lièvremont for ignoring his request to get himself fitter in the summer, and France preferred Aurélien Rougerie to him for the outside centre slot in this season's matches.

He's had a mixed season with Stade Français who themselves are in a big transitional phase at the moment, but Stade tried their utmost to keep him and despite no figure being released it is likely that they have received a large transfer fee for Bastareaud as he had two years still left on his contract which he signed last summer.

Bastareaud won't have it easy to get in the Toulon side, Gabiriele Lovobalavu was voted the best outside centre in the league in a poll recently, and Toulon have splashed cash on two new signings in midfield in Matt Giteau and Big Willie Mason, but as Lovobalavu and Giteau will be at the World Cup he will get the first chance to impress for Toulon probably alongside Mason (that centre partnership will weigh as much as elephant!). Stade Français meanwhile will probably play Morgan Turinui at 13 now alongside Gonzalo Tiesi.

Here is the official press release by Toulon:

11-07-11, 04:27 PM
Teams are going to have a tough time against Toulon next year, I wouldn't want to be facing Wilko/Giteau/Bastareaud in a backline all together!

12-07-11, 09:43 AM
One of the worst decision Bastareaud could have taken.

After a terrible season this guy needs some support, he needs to be in an environment where he will be preserved from a very tough competition. He obvioulsy has a fragile mental state, I can't imagine him getting better while being surrounded by stars like Giteau, Wilko, Mason or awesome players like Lovobalavu, Kefu or Messina.

I hope I'm wrong, this guy has the potential to become one of the best center, I would get mad if he'll become another "talented guy who will never achieve his true potential because he made wrong decisions". We already have so much of those in France...

12-07-11, 09:46 AM
I think his biggest problem is his weight. He's just too heavy at the moment. If he lost 10kg he'd still be a very big centre, but he'd have a lot more pace. I think if he can get better conditioned again, he's be as good as ever. I agree about the move to Toulon being wrong for him. There is just too much competition for him there, to get the game time he needs to be his best.

12-07-11, 02:13 PM
I think it will work the opposite way round and I think that the competition will make the best of him come out.

12-07-11, 03:23 PM
I think it will work the opposite way round and I think that the competition will make the best of him come out.

Unfortunately, I think Aout is right. Competition hasn't worked for him in the past. When he was the best center in France and started to gain weight, Lièvremot kept saying that he had to make more efforts to play for France. Competition on that side didn't motivate him, rather the contrary.

On the other hand, if he wanted to go to Toulon so badly, there has to be a reason (other than money, obviously) so hopefully those reason, whatever they are, work as expected and he feels well there and improve. I agree that he should either lose weight or play frotnrower along with Caucau.

14-07-11, 07:30 AM
In opposition to what a lot of you have said i think going to Toulon is the best thing for him. Stade Francais obviously had major problems last year which they still do, you add in being in a city like Paris, im sorry but thats way too much of distraction for a player like Bastareaud who already has so many problems off the field. Going to a rugby mad town like Toulon, a change in lifestyle (seaside Mediterranean) and being in a successful rugby club who will be playing top flight rugby as well as the Heineken cup what can be bad about this. And playing with players who are dedicated professionals like Wilkinson and playing for a colossus leader in Joe Van Nieker i can only see improvement in him on the field and off the field. I rate him highly, in fact I would play Bastareaud and Lobovalavu in the centres, but we probably wont see that because of Giteau's high price tag.

Anyway thats just the way i see things