It is official: Bayonne have been Relegated to the Pro D2. The Basque club suffered a 32-16 home defeat this afternoon against Stade Français. The result keeps Bayonne rooted to bottom of the Top 14 on 26 competition points. The 12th placed Toulouse have 47, too many points for Bayonne to obtain from remaining matches.
It is disastrous not only for Bayonne but the Basque region. Both Bayonne and Biarritz have been fierce rivals for decades but neither side now that rivalry is too resume itself in the second division.
Bayonne were relegated in 2015 and find themselves failing to remain afloat in their first season back. Biarritz has been in the Pro D2 since 2014. A return for the 2017-2018 season remains a possibility. With three rounds remaining this season Biarritz occupies 4th position.
In addition to Bayonne a second club is to be relegated. The identity of this club is not yet known though it is highly likely that it will be Grenoble. Well off the pace the team from the Alps is has 33 points. It requires a miracle to rise to 12th position, the requirement to avoid relegation.
With Bayonne dropping there will be player movement. This is not expected to affect any of the three Americas’ players at the club. Chilean prop Ramón Ayarza is contracted to Bayonne until June 2017 while second-rower Pablo Huete has one more year under contract with Bayonne. Former Puma Martín Bustos Moyano also has one more year on his current contract with the club.