Victorious in the first official game of the season, all eyes are now on the Sarlat Rugby team. The ambitious club wants to rise and has recruited heavily for the occasion. The latest player to be announced comes from a long lineage of rugby players and picked up experience in clubs across France in every Federale division. Time to meet Romain Bastiat.
Romain Bastiat was Born to Play Rugby
When asked when and where he first started playing rugby, Romain left no room for ambiguity; he might as well have been born to play. His father played rugby (a third row), as did virtually everyone in the family, including a distant relative on the French National Team once upon a time! It is is no surprise that Romain started playing at just five years old.
Growing up in the Landes, he started learning and playing in Saint-Paul-lès-Dax, but soon moved to the bigger club in Dax. He played with them through the rest of his cadet’s years and on up through the training, coming into his own as a fly-half. But St Paul was not ready to let go of this talent and offered him a spot on their senior team at just 17 years old to get him back for their Federale 1 team.
He continued to play with them for the next four years, cementing his position on the team and in the community, as well as perfecting his skills. Though not every memory was perfect. In 2006 in the National B finals, the team lost in a close defeat. While some players might have been eaten up by such a disappointment, he says it only gave him greater drive to succeed. Soon, however, like many players, he would leave, seeking new adventures, challenges worthy of his talent.
Romain kicks his way through French Federale Rugby Divisions
After Saint-Paul-lès-Dax, Romain Bastiat headed to Mugron at just 22. The club was only in Federale 3, but they, like Sarlat Rugby, were determined to rise! The very first season he was with them, getting through to the quarterfinals of Federale 3, made for one of the best memories of his career—a 60-meter penalty from the corner, which is an exploit few players at any level can say they have pulled off, or even tried.
While Romain certainly built up a reputation as a kicker, he is a well-rounded player. He is capable of evolving on the pitch as a fly-half, center, or even wing. Two seasons after helping Mugron climb to Federale 2, he moved to Bagnères-de-Bigorre, in the Pyrenees, another heartland of French rugby. There he played for the Stade Bagnérais, in Federale 1, for four glorious seasons, including quarterfinals and finals of the French Nationale B CHampionship in his second to last and final season with the club.
After Bagnère, he continued to impress, like in this clip of a 58-meter penalty while playing with Capbreton in the Promotions D’Honneur. Following that, he returned to St Paul Les Dax, to play closer to home. But found himself wishing for a real project to get behind, until he visited Sarlat that is.
Bastiat Builds Legacy with Sarlat Rugby
After Covid-19 undermined the last two rugby seasons, Romain was left hungry for more. Seeking a chance to show what he can do, and use his experience and skill to make a difference, he found Sarlat Rugby. Having visited in March, he fell in love with the town, and was very keen to discover, from players like Hemani Paea, what the Sarlat Rugby project was all about.
Here he found a dynamic project with a diverse, skillful, and increasingly tight-knit group of players. Here was a team set on climbing the ranks, starting with the leap from Fed 2 to Fed 1. It is a chance for Romain to enjoy another challenging and rewarding season of rugby, but also to share his skill and experience with Sarlat Rugby’s younger players.
While Romain has many sporting interests, from hiking to VTT, his true passion is rugby. Sarlat Rugby is offering him the opportunity to pursue that passion, while also building something greater. After all, if there is any project he is more passionate about than rugby, it is building a home for his family. Where could be better to do so than here in Sarlat?
Come see him in action this season and see for yourself what he brings to the team.