TOP 14. 17 recrues, une charnière XL, un Fidjien 7's: que vaut le recrutement de l'Aviron Bayonnais ?

TOP 14. 17 recruits, an XL hinge, a Fijian 7’s: what is Aviron Bayonnais’ recruitment worth?

It was at the end of a season that was not always linear but was well and truly punctuated by a title of French ProD2 champion that Aviron Bayonnais therefore moved up to the Top 14. A lift validated, therefore, since we recall that the Ciels et Blancs had finally descended following the craziest barrage in the history of French rugby, against the enemy Biarritz, in June 2021. The objective achieved, and with a new staff founded around manager Grégory Patat, the next will obviously be to perpetuate in the elite of French rugby, something less and less obvious today, between an ever more opaque level and these accession matches no longer ensuring maintenance in 13th place in the regular season.

TOP 14. Budget: Bayonne breaks the bank and displays its ambitions

For this, the 64 club gives itself the means to achieve this. Despite a quite modest budget for the Top 14, Rowing records the arrival of… 17 players! For 16 departures, you will tell us, but on closer inspection and despite the significant losses that are Filimo Taofifenua, Joe Ravouvou or Asier Usarraga, Bayonne seems to have been very intelligent in its recruitment, and potentially gain in exchange. It would be better for the Top 14, notice … In this case, Jean-Dauger offered sure values ​​​​of the elite of French rugby in each line, or almost. If the promising Boniface will go to Bordeaux, it is Quentin Bethune, 26 years old and 66 games in the first division who will replace him in the pile.

Pro D2.  Bayonne champion and invisible Montois, the Basque demonstration seen by social networksPro D2. Bayonne champion and invisible Montois, the Basque demonstration seen by social networks

At the heel, while the valiant John Ulugia has just taken a well-deserved retirement, it is the very explosive Argentinian Facundo Bosch who will take over and compete for a starting position with the Namibian Van Jaarsveld. At 30, Pierre Bourgarit’s official understudy for 3 seasons arrives in the Basque Country to glean a starting place that he would certainly have obtained in 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 colossal Uruguayan Manuel Leindekar (2m05) will force them to fight to earn their place. The fact remains that with these 3 players, and if none of them is Eben Etzebeth or Will Skelton, Rowing has once again been right, with boys who, in our opinion, have enough in their stomachs to be familiar the Top 14 level. Finally, in front, note the arrival of the Tongan from Castres Kafatolu, but also and above all of two executives from Carcassonne last season: Pierre Hughet (23 tenures), this 3rd line with a big physique who will embark in his suitcases the center Guillaume Martocq, him back from loan.

An international hinge

But let it be said, the high point of the club’s 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 caps among the Blues which trains on the side of Bayonne. Maxime Machenaud and Camille Lopez, these are several hundred meetings in Top 14 and even some associations in EDF. It’s obvious, with their immense experience, the keys to the truck will be entrusted to them and it’s up to them to guide Aviron and help it 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 opener who proved his worth with Narbonne last year: the Neo- Zealander Jason Robertson. In Top 14, the seasons are long and that, the Bayonne management seems to have understood it well…

TRANSFERS POINT.  A Baby Black in Bayonne, Garbisi remains, a Toulousain towards Racing 92?TRANSFERS POINT. A Baby Black in Bayonne, Garbisi remains, a Toulousain towards Racing 92?

Behind, two revengeful people with great potential landed to find playing time and sensations. 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 final stages, neither the European Cup nor the Top 14. Still, the Fijian has always the same gas and the same power and will bring even more danger to the Bayonne attack, he who should be in competition with his compatriot Sireli Maqala in the center, revelation of last season. Bastien Pourailly, he, who intended to relaunch in Clermont after a promising start to his career in Pau, has returned to the ranks. He will therefore land in Bayonne with an intact state of mind and the firm intention of renewing a full season in the Top 14.

TRANSFER.  Pro D2.  Bayonne eyes a Fijian septist and recruits in NarbonneTRANSFER. Pro D2. Bayonne eyes a Fijian septist 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 on the future facilities of the AB Campus. Very explosive, stocky and endowed with an impressive racket, the 22-year-old player should be aligned on the wing and give a little more relief to the exteriors 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 comes with a hopeful contract in the bag but who could make his first appearances in the Top 14 season in the event of a good adaptation, in the name of his talent and his 12 tries with Mauléon last season.

Rugby.  Sparkling in Federal 1 to 19 years old, meeting with Yohan Orabe, future BayonnaisRugby. Sparkling in Federal 1 to 19 years old, meeting with Yohan Orabe, future Bayonnais

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