Pumas skipper Matera plans Super Rugby spell before French finale

Paris (AFP) –


Argentina captain Pablo Matera wants to play in Super Rugby next year, the Stade Francais back-rower told Friday's edition of specialist newspaper Midi Olympique, although he has yet to find a club to hire him.

Matera, 27, who has one season left of his deal in the French Top 14, originally eyed a stint in South Africa before they left the tournament for the Pro 14's Rainbow Cup.

"Stade Francais were very understanding and proposed the option to me. To go and play a season in Super Rugby and then return to Paris to finish my contract," Matera said.

"South Africa was my first choice. The teams were moved to the Rainbow Cup and this competition would have forced me to travel a lot, I dont want to do that. I then moved to my second choice, New Zealand," he added.

Kiwi outfits limit the number of players in their squads who are ineligible for the All Blacks with the Highlanders' Japan back-rower Kazuki Himeno a rare exemption.

"It's not easy to join a franchise from New Zealand. Firstly you need a visa. The teams have a quota on foreign players," Matera said.

"They prioritise their young players, from their academies. It's very good, but you can't take place of a youngster," he added.

Matera, who was briefly suspended last year after tweets deemed to be racist from 2011 and 2013 resurfaced, joined the Parisians in 2019 from the Jaguares, where he played four seasons.

The Buenos Aires-based franchise were withdrawn from Super Rugby last year by the Argentine Rugby Union for financial reasons.