Rugby United New York have shared a video thanking Mathieu Bastareaud for his time with them ahead of his return back to France next season. There was a lot of fanfare surrounding the 54-cap France international’s move to Major League Rugby when it was announced last year, as this was seen as a landmark signing for the league. The 31-year-old arrived alongside some other household names in the game such as Ma’a Nonu, who joined San Diego Legion, and Tendai Mtawarira, who joined Old Glory DC.
The reality of the situation is that Bastareaud’s time in MLR was a disappointment. This is no fault of his own, but the season was abandoned entirely after only five weeks of play due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bastareaud played all five matches, flitting between his new position at No.8 and his usual outside centre, crossing over for a try once.
Despite his sojourn in the United States being so brief, RUNY shared this message on Instagram:
“It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.
Thank you, Basta! You will be missed! – Your Rugby United Family.”
View this post on Instagram
While nothing can be done about the situation the sporting world finds itself in, this was an unfortunate way to end a season in the USA that offered a lot. While it is disappointing from a rugby perspective, the financial ramifications of this situation are far worse, with the Colorado Raptors already pulling out of next season’s competition.
It is unclear what the future holds for some of the other star names in the league, but Bastareaud is set to rejoin Lyon on a two-year deal, for whom he had a brief stint with during the Rugby World Cup, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty as to when next season in France will begin.
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