Mathieu Bastareaud is set to become a colleague of Englishman Ben Foden in the fledgling American League.

According to the French rugby publication Midi Olympique, the powerful Toulon centre is negotiating a loan deal. Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal appears to be in favour of the move.

Boudjellal has spoken to Pierre Arnald, the boss of Rugby United New York about a possible season long loan deal.

Arnald is the former owner of Stade Francais, where Bastareaud played before moving to Toulon.

Bastareaud had previously spoken about the possibility of playing abroad, with South African outfit Sharks a possible destination. However, the presence of Arnald at New York looks to have swayed his decision.

For now, the American clubs do not have the financial clout to match the deals on offer in France or England. However, there are big ambitions for the tournament.

Boudjellal could give his consent this week. The deal would start on 1 December and run until June 2020. He has said in the past that he would not object to players moving temporarily from Toulon.

His only stipulation was that any move should not be to an English club or a potential European Champions Cup opponent.

Should the Toulon owner agree to release the 30 year old powerhouse, it will be on strict terms. Bastareaud’s involvement at New York would be on a one-year loan starting after the World Cup in Japan. He would then return to the Top 14 side.


Written by Colin Renton