Stade Francais strike over merger

Could Will Genia team up with Dan Carter

Carter and fellow ex-All Black Joe Rokocoko are among Racing 92's stars, while Stade Francais' top players feature the likes of French worldwide Pascal Pape and Italian Sergio Parisse.

Stade Francais' Djibril Camara said it was like "you're suddenly being told you're going to live with your neighbours who you hate".

Between them the two clubs have won 20 French rugby titles, Racing 92 winning their sixth last season and Stade Francais claiming a 14th title in 2015.

The two clubs are a long way from repeating their respective title-winning feats of the past two years this season - Racing mired in mid-table, while Stade lie 12th.

The presidency will rotate every two seasons, with Stade's Thomas Savare the first to serve.

When asked whether players would be playing for their futures at the new club when the sides meet next month, Pool-Jones said: "I think that's a fair assessment".

"The LNR calls for dialogue, will pay close attention to this affair, unprecedented in the world of professional rugby, and intends to work to ensure the interests of all stakeholders, particularly the players, coaches and employees of the two clubs".




He is hoping Paris city hall, which funded the renovation of Jean-Bouin for about 160 million euros ($224.34 million) and receives a 1.3 million euro ($1.82 million) yearly rent from Stade Francais and Ligue 2 soccer club Red Star, will fight the merger.

The clubs will "pool resources" though fine details, such as a stadium plan and coaching team have yet to be finalised in what is bound to be a turbulent off-season.

How the merger will exactly affect the players is not yet known but it could mean a turbulent period for both clubs with Stade Francais players alluding to a possible strike following the announcement. "And now we find out they did this behind our backs", he said.

But a combined statement released on the two clubs' official websites at the same time on Monday morning insisted a merger was the best solution for the two Paris clubs.

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

French rugby was stunned by the move to unite two of the biggest clubs in the game from next season.

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