Bastareaud: I am ready to become a man
July 19, 2011
Bastareaud will hope to reclaim his 2010 form after he was left out of Marc Lièvremont's provisional training squad for the World Cup © Getty Images
French international centre Mathieu Bastareaud has been unveiled by Toulon and declared he is ready to "become a man."
Bastareaud's unveiling ends one of the summer's most prolonged transfer saga after his former club, Stade Francais, were originally adamant that the nine-cap centre would be plying his trade in Paris for the 2011-12 season. But Toulon's influential owner Mourad Boudjellal pursued the international and eventually landed his man in the wake of the Parisian club's financial troubles.
The 22-year-old has struggled to find the same form he displayed during France's Grand Slam triumph at the 2010 Six Nations and has since been left out of Marc Lievremont's preliminary squad for the World Cup. Toulon owner Boudjellal claimed Bastareaud was psychologically "no longer able to play for Stade Francais" and following an agreement between the two sides, Bastareaud was delighted to be in the new surroundings of the Stade Mayol.
"I'm super excited," Bastareaud said. "It is a legendary club. Great players have come here and I want to put my name in the history of this club. I know most of the players here, which will make things easier. I made mistakes but the past is the past, I have left my little cocoon to finally become a man."
Bastareaud was unveiled alongside fellow new signings rugby league convert Willie Mason and centre Mafileo Kefu in front of 4,000 Toulon supporters. The trio will be joined at Toulon next season by South Africa lock Bakkies Botha and England flanker Steffon Armitage.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup