French clubs Racing 92 and Stade Francais shocked the world of rugby this week when they announced plans to merge – but Stade’s passionate captain Sergio Parisse made a stern response yesterday.
— sergio parisse (@sergioparisse) March 15, 2017
Translation: “As captain of Stade Francais, I learned of the death of my club by … Twitter! We will not let go … I assure you #ourclub.”
A joint-statement says that the creation of one Parisian club will “preserve the roots” of both teams, while “increasing the resources available to serve youth and French rugby”.
“These two flagship clubs of Paris, beyond the sporting rivalry they have enjoyed, have many other similarities: a strong local and regional presence, a historic coaching program, age-old ties with The Olympic movement and an incessant desire to progress in all areas.
“It is on the basis of these principles that the two clubs are laying the foundations for a merger project by pooling their resources to better cope with the challenges of performance and development.”
Second-row Paul Gabrillagues has been scathing in his criticism of the decision on Facebook, calling on fellow players and fans to protest against the movement.
“It’s not a merger, it’s the takeover of the Stade Français by the Racing… so the death of our club, the club of Paris. I pitch to this masquerade. Show yourselves and show that we are many to love this club” (Translated from French)
Stade’s French International Pascal Pape was also angered, with this tweet translating as, “Today my sadness is so big that I prefer not to comment! I will be very soon”.