It was at the end of a season that was not always linear but well marked by a French ProD2 champion title that the Aviron Bayonnais then climbed back into the Top 14. A qualitative leap, therefore, given that we remember that the Ciels et I Blancs had finally dropped after the craziest barrier in the history of French rugby, against the enemy Biarritz, in June 2021. The goal achieved, and with a new staff founded around the manager Grégory Patat, the next will obviously be to perpetuate himself in the elite of French rugby , something less and less obvious today, between an increasingly opaque level and these accession matches that no longer guarantee the maintenance of 13th place in the regular season.
TOP 14. Budget: Bayonne breaks the bank and shows her ambitions
For this the club 64 gives itself the means to achieve this goal. Despite a fairly modest budget for the Top 14, Rowing sees the arrival of … 17 players! For 16 starts, you’ll tell us, but on closer inspection and despite the significant losses being Filimo Taofifenua, Joe Ravouvou or Asier Usarraga, Bayonne appears to have been very clever in his recruiting and potentially earning in return. It would be better for the Top 14, attention … In this case, Jean-Dauger offered certain values of the French rugby elite in every line, or almost. If the promising Boniface goes to Bordeaux, Quentin Bethune, 26 years old and 66 games in the first division, will replace him in the bunch.
Pro D2. Bayonne and Montois invisible champion, the Basque event seen by social media
At his heels, while the brave John Ulugia has just taken a well-deserved retirement, is the Argentine explosive Facundo Bosch who will take over and compete for a starting position with the Namibian Van Jaarsveld. At 30, Pierre Bourgarit’s official replacement for 3 seasons arrives in the Basque Country to pick up a starting spot that he would surely have gotten to many other clubs. It’s up to him to do the work! Ditto in the second bar, where the joint arrivals of Thomas Ceyte (Nevers), Geoffrey Cridge (Waratahs) and the Uruguayan colossal Manuel Leindekar (2’05) will force them to fight for their place. The fact remains that with these 3 players, and if none of them are Eben Etzebeth or Will Skelton, rowing was once again right, with guys who, in our opinion, have enough in their stomachs to familiarize themselves with the Top 14 level. , in front, to note the arrival of the Tongan from Castres Kafatolu, but also and above all of two executives from Carcassonne last season: Pierre Hughet (23 positions), this 3rd line with a big physique who will embark the Guillaume Martocq center in his suitcases, he returned from the loan.
An international hinge
But it must be said that the pinnacle of club recruitment this summer remains at the hinge. Since July 4, the date of the resumption on the shores of the Atlantic, it is a 9-10 association with more than 65 appearances among the Blues that trains on the side of Bayonne. Maxime Machenaud and Camille Lopez, these are several hundred meetings in the Top 14 and also some associations in EDF. It is obvious, with their immense experience, the keys to the truck will be entrusted to them and it is up to them to guide Aviron and help her stay in the top flight. Despite everything, and this is also why this recruitment promises to be complete, the Skies et Blancs can count on the arrival of another high-level forerunner who last year proved his worth with Narbonne: New Zealander Jason Robertson. In Top 14 the seasons are long and this, the management of Bayonne seems to have understood it well …
TRANSFER POINT. Baby Black in Bayonne, Garbisi remains, Tolosain towards Racing 92?
Behind, two vengeful people with great potential landed to find time and feel for play. First of all Eneriko Buliruarua, who is coming out of a frustrating season with La Rochelle where he only had 9 small starts in total, without tasting the finals, neither the Champions Cup nor the Top 14. Yet, the Fijian always has the same gas and the same power and will bring even more danger to Bayonne’s attack, he who should be competing with fellow countryman Sireli Maqala in the center, last season’s revelation. Bastien Pourailly, he, who was planning to relaunch to Clermont after a promising career start in Pau, is back in the ranks. He will then land in Bayonne with a state of mind intact and the firm intention of renewing an entire season in the Top 14.
TRANSFER. Pro D2. Bayonne observes a Fijian sectarian and recruits in Narbonne
Finally, since we were talking about the Maqala bomb, know that at the confluence of the Nive and the Adour, we are trying more or less the same blow as last season, with the arrival of another young member of the Fiji 7’s. This time, it is Kaminieli Rasaku who will land in future AB Campus facilities. Very explosive, stocky and gifted with an impressive racket, the 22-year-old player should be lined up on the wing and give a little more relief to the externals of the promoted. While we will also have to keep an eye on the very young but equally promising Yohan Orabé (20 years old), who arrives with a promising contract in his pocket but who could make his first appearances in the Top 14 of the season in case of good adaptation, in the name of his talent and his 12 goals with Mauléon last season.
Rugby. Sparkling in Federal from 1 to 19 years, meeting with Yohan Orabe, future Bayonnais