Top 14: Mathieu Bastareaud to leave Lyon

Lawrence Nolan

After recovering from a horrendous double-knee injury sustained earlier this season, Mathieu Bastareaud is set to leave Lyon, either back to Toulon or to Hyeres.

Writing on social media, Bastareaud only paid tribute to the club he is leaving, saying: “I wanted to thank the club, the staff, my teammates and the supporters for their warm welcome and especially their support in the difficult times I have experienced during these 3 years. I wish the club all the best for the future.”

A choice awaits

He is set either to move to Toulon in a full-time coaching role, but he could possibly move to Hyeres, a team looking to get into France’s third tier ahead of next season, where he is rumoured to have been offered a player-coach role.

One of Bastareaud’s former team-mates, Toulouse, Toulon and Stade Francais lock Yoann Maestri, will retire after the match against Brive on Saturday.

“It’s time to stop,” he said to L’Equipe.

“I’ve been thinking about it since the beginning of the season and in my head, everything is clear. I was also contacted by a French club. On a personal and sporting level, everything was there to have one more beautiful season in this club that is close to my heart. I even said yes at the time, but after reflection, I finally refused, it’s time to stop.”

Meanwhile, Toulouse fly-half Romain Ntamack has hinted he may be heading for a sabbatical after the 2023 World Cup, despite having recently put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Toulouse.

“We talked about it a little for a little experience after the World Cup,” he said to Midi Olympique.

“To see what we can do. If it’s not feasible, I’ll stay here, but if there’s an opportunity to try an experience abroad, maybe.”

READ MORE: Legends back La Rochelle boss Ronan O’Gara for future top jobs with Ireland or France