Bastareaud signs Stade deal
France centre agrees first professional contract
Last Updated: March 24, 2010 5:25pm
Bastareaud: first pro contract
France star Mathieu Bastareaud has signed a three-year contract with Top 14 outfit Stade Francais.
It means that the swashbuckling centre, who moved to the Parisian club from third-division Massy in 2007, will now remain at Stade until at least 2013.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Centre Mathieu Bastareaud has just signed his first professional contract with Stade Francais."
It caps a wonderful past few months for the 21-year-old who played a leading role in France's recent RBS Six Nations Grand Slam triumph.
Things were not quite so rosy for Bastareaud last year when he was facing up to the possibility of a lengthy ban after he was caught lying about being mugged during Les Bleus' summer tour of the southern hemisphere.
He later admitted he had made the story up and had actually hit his head having fallen over in his hotel room because he had drunk too much.
But France coach Marc Lievremont kept faith with Bastareaud, surprising many by including the 17 stone centre in his Six Nations squad.
Bastareaud, cousin of Arsenal's William Gallas, repaid the gamble in some style, scoring two tries in France's first match in Scotland and impressing throughout what was to prove a triumphant campaign for Les Bleus.