Published: Thu, March 16, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

Racing 92 and Stade Francais to merge to form Paris super club

Racing 92 and Stade Francais to merge to form Paris super club

Between them they have won the two most recent Top 14 titles.

The plan was hatched in secret behind the back of the players, French worldwide Jonathan Danty said earlier Tuesday.

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.

Ironically, Stade Francais' final match is against Racing on April 29.

'After reviewing this exceptional situation by the steering committee, the LNR proposes to convene an emergency meeting on Friday, March 17, with representatives of the two sports companies and the two associations, and representatives of players and coaches to evaluate and to ensure the best treatment of all the dimensions of this project.

The action comes a day after Racing's billionaire owner Jacky Lorenzetti and Stade Francais counterpart Thomas Savare made the bombshell announcement.

Racing are now eighth in the 14-team French league, with Stade struggling in 11th place.

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Lorenzetti paved the way for a cull of players, saying half the combined roster of about 90 professionals on the books at the two clubs could be axed.

And in an interview published on the L'Equipe website, Danty said strike action could not be ruled out.

Contracts at a new club formed by the merger of French sides Racing 92 and Stade Francais are "up for grabs" when the rivals play each other next month, according to Stade's deputy chairman.

"The LNR is calling for dialogue and will monitor very closely this unprecedented matter in the history of French rugby".

A number of players are likely to lose their jobs as the squad size will have to be reduced. Pascal Pape, one of the most senior players in the team announced that the team are to go on strike as a result of the move. We've often heard that if we leave, the club dies.

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

The two giants of French rugby have 20 domestic titles between them, including the first two in 1892 and 1893, as well as the two most recent crowns - Stade prevailing in 2015 before Racing defeated Toulon in the final a year ago.

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