French center Mathieu Bastareaud has joined Lyon with the American Rugby United New York team for a two-year contract, the Top 14 club announced on Saturday.
The 31-year-old, who has played 54 times for France and won three European Cup titles with Toulon, raised his eyebrows when leaving Toulon for New York.
After playing five games with Major League Rugby, the coronavirus pandemic ended the rest of the American season.
Bastareaud had a brief stint with Lyon as a “joker” at the start of this campaign, the club lacking players due to the World Cup in Japan.
“I wanted to discover something new abroad,” said Bastareaud, who is expected to arrive in France in a few days.
“I will have fond memories of this experience (in New York) even if I wanted to leave at the end of the season. Stopping was the right decision for everyone. “
Lyon ranks second in the French Top 14, eight points behind the leader Bordeaux-Bègles.
“The four months I spent in Lyon were really great and I enjoyed the city,” he added. “The club offered me a great adventure and why not take up this challenge. “
© 2020 AFP