Racing 92 and Stade Francais to merge from next season

Racing 92 and Stade Francais to merge from next season

Racing 92 are the reigning French champions and both clubs play in the top-tier Top 14 championship.

The merger of Racing 92 and Stade Francais may begin in farcical circumstances.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said: "Stade Francais will have to answer to the Parisians and Paris, which renovated the stadium".

'The LNR calls for dialogue and will pay close attention to this unprecedented dossier in the world of professional rugby and intends to ensure the interests of all stakeholders, in particular players, coaches and co-workers of both clubs'.

Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape expressed his discontent on Twitter, writing "my sadness is so big that I prefer not to comment".

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Both players left the Marcoussis French national training centre in the southern suburbs of the city without asking permission from coach Guy Noves to travel to the protest but said they would take the consequences for taking a stand against the merger plan.

The merger will need to be ratified by French rugby authorities.

A merger of the two clubs would throw up the enticing prospect of Racing 92 stars such as All Blacks great Dan Carter and France scrum-half Maxime Machenaud playing with Stade figures like Italian colossus Sergio Parisse and Fijian wing Waisea Nayacalevu next term. As teams are subject to a monthly salary cap, the new club will have to let some top talent go, leaving players and staff looking for new jobs three months before the end of the season.

Amid their very understandable anger, the Stade players have gone on strike, and as a result, are refusing to train and play this weekend's game against Castres.

Winners of the first two championships in the history of French rugby in 1892 and 1893, Racing 92 and Stade Français Paris also won the Brennus Shield in the last two seasons.

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"We've always been told we're the future of the club".

"What do we do about those players who signed pre-contracts for next season, those players who have started making arrangements for next season?" said Tchale-Watchou.

On Monday afternoon, the rugby world was caught off-guard with the news that the two teams are to merge next season.

"Consolidated by its dual culture, by the fierce determination of its two presidents and its increased audience in a population pool unmatched in France, this new club has a long-term commitment to build a true reference day after day".

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