One of the most bizarre stories of the rugby season thus far was that of the announced merger between Racing 92 and Stade Francais.
It is rare you see such an idea proposed in the modern, professional game. Especially when it comes to two historic and decorated clubs such as the two Parisian stalwarts.
The reaction was inevitable with players, supporters and the wider rugby public completely opposed to such a move.
The Stade Francais players at the time went on strike before both clubs’ respective Top 14 fixtures were abandoned due to the controversy.
Eventually, Racing 92 president, Jacky Lorenzetti, called off the proposed merger and stated: “I have decided to give up this beautiful project.”
Since then, there has been little information coming through regarding the future viability of both clubs but Stade’s coach Gonzalo Quesada revealed to Sky Sports that there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the club.
“Noone knows whats going to happen next season with the club. We only know that the president will leave the club. We still don’t know if someone is coming or not.”
It is a testament to the players’ professionalism and pride in wearing the shirt that they are currently fighting it out for a top six position in the league in addition to reaching the European Challenge Cup Final after a dramatic last-gasp victory over Bath at the weekend.
“So the guys are training, living with their families with that in their heads.
“So that is the main reason why I am so proud of this group. 60-70% of this team are under contract and they don’t know what exactly is the future of the club.”
Stade will face Gloucester in the Challenge Cup final on May 12 and a win in Murrayfield would cap off an excellent season when you consider the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding the team.
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