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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
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Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
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Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
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Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
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Kings 15 6 0 9 28