Bastareaud leaving Toulon early ahead of US move

Mathieu Bastareaud (Gallo)
Mathieu Bastareaud (Gallo)

Marseille - Former France captain Mathieu Bastareaud, who had already announced he was joining New York's Rugby United on-loan for six months, is leaving Toulon permanently, the club announced on Tuesday.

"Mathieu Bastareaud and Rugby Club Toulonnais have decided, by mutual consent, to terminate the contract binding them together for the upcoming 2019-2020 season," the French outfit said in a statement. 

The 30-year-old centre, who had spent eight seasons at Toulon, "wanted to take on a new challenge for four months, before joining Major League Rugby and the New York team," the statement said.

Bastareaud, who played for France 54 times, was initially set to join the New York club in December after the World Cup in Japan (20 September-November 20) but was not included in the French squad for the tournament which was named on June 18.

He subsequently announced his international retirement the following day on social media and French media have reported other Top 14 sides are interested in signing him.

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