PARIS (AFP) – South Africa back-rower Uzair Cassiem said his Bayonne side are prepared for a “big challenge” as they defend their unbeaten home record against in-form Stade Francais in the French Top 14 today.
The Parisians, 14-time champions, have lost just once in their last six league games and are eight points behind leaders Toulouse.
“They’re not second in the table for nothing, they’re doing something good and something’s happening up there,” Cassiem told AFP on Thursday.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for us, at set-piece and kicking.
“We’re all up for that,” he added.
Cassiem, 32, moved to the Atlantic coast in 2021 after three seasons with Welsh side the Scarlets.
Some of his former team-mates at Parc y Scarlets are considering striking in response to a freeze on new contracts as the four Welsh regions and the Welsh Rugby Union wrestle over a new financial agreement.
“As rugby players, we only have careers for so long. We want to make the best of it,” Cassiem said.
“You don’t want this unnecessary situation and issues that aren’t even your fault.
“I stand by what the boys want to do there,” he added.
Former Cheetahs loose forward Cassiem, won the last of his eight South Africa caps in December 2018 but holds an ambition to wear the Green and Gold jersey once again.
“The dream will also be there but that’s out of my hands,” he said.
“I’m at the stage of my career where I just want to enjoy every moment. In a blink of an eye it can be finished, gone, you hang up your boots.
“I want to do the best for Bayonne,” he added.