Mathieu Bastareaud signed off from EPCR competitions in style when he lifted the EPCR Challenge Cup with RC Toulon in Dublin on Friday night.
The 54-time France international, who has been used as a centre and No.8 during his glittering career, secured his fourth EPCR title, having helped Toulon to their three successive Heineken Champions Cups in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Bastareaud, who also played for Stade Français Paris and Lyon, made a total of 77 appearances in EPCR competitions, scoring nine tries, including five in Toulon’s triumphant 2014-15 campaign.
2022 👉 Champions Cup
2023 👉 Challenge Cup
Two years, two finals and two winners medals for Ihaia West and Dany Priso 🔥
Watch highlights from Friday’s final 👇
— EPCR Challenge Cup (@ChallengeCup_) May 22, 2023
After Toulon’s maiden EPCR Challenge Cup title, which came courtesy of a 43-19 thrashing of Glasgow Warriors, the 34-year-old announced that he will retire following the conclusion of the TOP 14 season.
“I’m not going to make a mystery,” he said. “It will be my last trophy and next week it will be my last game in Mayol. I gritted my teeth for one because I told myself that I wanted to stop on my two legs, it’s done.”
Bastareaud left Toulon in 2019, but after spells with Lyon and Rugby United New York, he returned to the club ahead of this season with ambitions of a final trophy.
“I said I wanted to win at least one [more] title in Toulon,” he added. “I’m lucky to be able to win one last trophy before I bow out.”