Bayonne have bulked up their forward pack with a number of supersized additions.
Having been promoted from the ProD2, the club based on the west coast of France have looked to the Pacific Islands for inspiration, signing some of the heaviest players currently playing rugby in Europe.
Bayonne’s four heaviest signing going into season 2019/20 weigh in at a combined 526kg, an average of 131.5kg a man – or 20 stone 9 pounds each in imperial.
Leaving aside the new signing, the club already have a pretty solid pack including the likes of 131kg Adam Jaulhac, 132kg Dion Evrard Oulai, 123kg Toma’akino Taufa, 132kg Jon Zabala and 124kg Jose Ramon Ayarza. The new additions throw up the possibility of Bayonne fielding a potential one-tonne plus pack next season.
Samoan frontrow Afatia is one of three Racing 92 heavyweights to travel south-west to Bayonne. Capped 21 times by Samoa, the 29-year-old is just coming into his propping prime. The Samoan hasn’t completely avoided controversy in his career however, having been involved in an altercation with fellow heavyweight Parisian Ben Tameifuna. Afatia was left with facial injuries following the row with the Tongan outside a nightclub on the Champs-Élysées in 2017.
The veteran Samoan prop signs from Racing 92, having enjoyed several fruitful years at the Parisian giants. Despite his age, the tighthead enjoyed significant game time with Racing in his final year at the club. Having slimmed down from a high of 138kg, the Auckland born 38-year-old will be looking to potentially end his career on a high with Bayonne.
The giant nephew in the Maka dynasty which included Finau and Isitolo, Bayonne becomes Edwin’s third major club in the Top14 after Toulon and Racing respectively. Standing 6’5 and weighing anywhere between 135kg and 148kg (23 stone 4 pounds), he’s one of the heaviest players on the planet.
Luamanu hails from New Zealand and signs from Harlequins. A devasting ball carrier, the Wellington-born Samoan struggled with discipline while at Harlequins, earning more than his fair share of cards over his two season at the west London club. Now 30, Luamanu brings considerable experience having played in five different leagues on three continents.
A potential one tonne Bayonne pack
TOTAL PACK WEIGHT: 1032kg
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