Stade strikers hailed by fans

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:14
Large lnr banner 800

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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 June 2017
Samoa v Wales 06h30 Apia
South Africa A v French Barbarians 18h00 Orlando Stadium
Sat, 24 June 2017
Fiji v Scotland 02h30 Suva
Japan v Ireland 04h40 Tokyo
Australia v Italy 05h00 Suncorp Stadium
New Zealand v B&I Lions 07h35 Eden Park
South Africa v France 15h00 Johannesburg
Canada v United States 19h00 Calgary
Argentina v Georgia 19h15 Estadio Ciudad De La Plata
Tue, 27 June 2017
Hurricanes v B&I Lions 07h35 Westpac Stadium
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 13 6 0 7 33
Waratahs 13 4 0 9 19
Force 13 4 0 9 17
Reds 13 3 0 10 17
Rebels 13 1 1 11 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 14 14 0 0 63
Hurricanes 14 11 0 3 54
Chiefs 14 11 1 2 53
Highlanders 14 10 0 4 46
Blues 14 7 1 6 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 30
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19