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Bastareaud given club future deadline

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Bastareaud set July 8 deadline to sort out short-term future... and he isn't short of options

Mathieu Bastareaud’s short-term future remains up in the air following his omission from the France squad for the World Cup in Japan.

The experienced French centre had assumed he would be going to the finals and had said his goodbyes to Toulon as he has a contract signed to play with Rugby United New York in America in their 2020 MLR season.

He is still under contract with Toulon until December 1 before he temporarily leaves them for his half-year stint in New York. However, they did not include him in their plans for the start of the new 2019/20 Top 14 season as they believed he would be unavailable due to representing his country in Japan.

That assumption was torn asunder on June 18 when Jacques Brunel left Bastareaud out of the 31-strong France squad for the finals, the centre even failing to be included in the standby list of the players also announced.

This development has left Bastareaud – who has since announced his Test rugby retirement – in limbo and he must now move quickly to decide what he will do to fill the time before he moves to the States.

What is known, according to the Friday edition of Midi Olympique, is that he will not be returning to Toulon when they assemble for pre-season on July 2.

In meetings with coach Patrice Collazo, president Mourad Boudjellal and recruitment manager Laurent Emmanuelli, it was decided by both sides to set July 8 as the deadline for a decision.

The French newspaper reports that an immediate return to Toulon is just one of a number of solutions Bastareaud is considering. It’s believed the Durban-based Sharks would welcome him for their Currie Cup campaign.

However, three French clubs are apparently sounding him out about a temporary switch under the joker status, a ploy that would see his salary not taken into account in the salary cap.

Stade Francais, his former home, are said to be interested as are Racing 92 and Montpellier. None of the options are yet said to be a clear favourite, however, the newspaper suggesting ‘all hypotheses are still open’ ahead of the July 8 deadline.

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Bastareaud set July 8 deadline to sort out short-term future... and he isn't short of options