Stade Francais and Racing 92 to merge

Stade Francais and Racing 92 to merge

The rivalry between Racing 92 and Stade Français is the oldest in French rugby.

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

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.

With Stade players choosing to strike over the move and Racing players nervously looking over their shoulders, little has been mentioned about the coaching tickets from both clubs.

But the move has been frowned upon in some quarters with France's Stade centre Jonathan Danty revealing that the news had sent shock waves through the Les Bleus camp and produced talk of strike action from players.

The merger has yet to be ratified by the French League, but if Stade intend for forfeit matches, league officials may have to intervene.

The Racing squad features Dan Carter, a world champion with New Zealand's All Blacks, and the club presidents believe that a combination of internationals from each side would give birth to a European power.

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.

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

Stade have six league games left this season.

Due to play this weekend against Castres, it looks like Stade will not fulfill the fixture as a result of the strike.

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

'And then we find out what's been done behind our backs'.

"Winners of the first two championships in the history of French rugby in 1892 and 1893, Racing 92 and Stade Francais Paris also won the Bouclier de Brennus in the last two seasons", Racing announced in a club statement.

"Strengthened by our double culture, by the stanch wise of its two presidents and the support of an unprecedented catchment area in France, this new club's long-term mission is to grow into a real reference".

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