Stade strikers hailed by fans

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:14
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REACTION: Striking Stade Francais players were hailed by fans, as they arrived for crisis talks with National Rugby League officials over controversial plans to merge with Paris rivals Racing 92.

Racing's billionaire owner Jacky Lorenzetti and Stade Francais counterpart Thomas Savare announced the shock merger plan on Monday.

Stade Francais players voted overwhelmingly for strike action and will not train or play in Saturday's Top 14 clash against Castres or other matches this season.

Players from both squads - many of whom are facing imminent unemployment - met with LNR officials at their Paris headquarters.

Almost all Stade Francais' players were present but only player representatives including Pascal Papé, Laurent Sempéré, Antoine Burban, Meyer Bosman and Alexandre Flanquart were allowed into the talks.

The rest waited outside before the players emerged an hour later with Saturday's match against Castres still scheduled.

Racing 92 players were also present including captain Dimitri Szarzewski, Manuel Carizza, Xavier Chauveau, Virgile Lacombe and Matthieu Voisin.

Lorenzetti and Savare were also there.

Stade Français players arrived to cheers of "Go Paris, your supporters are here" by an enthusiastic group of up to a hundred fans who then made a guard of honour on front of LNR headquarters.

Some waved pink flags - the colour of Stade Francais - and branded banners with "No to the merger fusion," while a handful of Racing fans were also present, some favourable to the project, others not.

"Jean-Bouin [Stade Francais stadium] is our home," shouted some when the Racing players arrived minutes later.

"I won't give up anything," replied Savare, who was branded a "coward" by one Stade fan.

"It is a great cause for us, it was important to show the whole of France that we were 100 percent solid," Stade Francais centre Jonathan Danty told the crowd after leaving the LNR.

"If everyone came here it's because we believe and hope we can get what we want."

Agence France-Presse

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Sat, 25 March 2017
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
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Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
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Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
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Fri, 31 March 2017
Highlanders v Rebels 06h35 Dunedin
Sat, 01 April 2017
Blues v Force 04h15 Auckland
Chiefs v Bulls 06h35 Hamilton
Reds v Hurricanes 08h45 Suncorp Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 March 2017
Brumbies v Highlanders 13 | 18
Blues v Bulls 38 | 14
Fri, 24 March 2017
Bristol v Gloucester 14 | 32
Dragons v Ulster 17 | 27
Scarlets v Edinburgh 26 | 10
Rebels v Waratahs 25 | 32
Crusaders v Force 45 | 17
Mon, 20 March 2017
UP-Tuks v UCT-Ikeys 51 | 23
CPUT v TUT 39 | 18
CUT-Ixias v Maties 44 | 73
NMMU-Madibaz v Shimlas 7 | 23
UKZN-Impi v Rhodes 31 | 13
WSU v UWC 24 | 46
UJ v Wits 28 | 23
Sat, 18 March 2017
Jaguares v Cheetahs 41 | 14
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 5 2 0 3 11
Waratahs 5 2 0 3 8
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 4 1 0 3 5
Rebels 4 0 0 4 1
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 5 0 0 21
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 5 2 0 3 11
Highlanders 5 2 0 3 9
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 4 1 0 3 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5