Stade Francais currently lie third from bottom in the Top 14.
While many Munster fans were quick to celebrate the fact their side found themselves in a Champions Cup pool that Treviso, qualification remained far from certain.
Included in their pool was the hard nosed Leicester Tigers and the Top 14 Champions, Stade Francais. At the end of last season it appeared that the Parisian based had turned a corner, leaving behind their inconsistent form of recent history.
Stade are after all a side that contain the likes of Pascal Papé, Willem Alberts, Sergio Parisse, Will Genia, Morne Steyn, Jonathan Danty and Hugo Bonneval.
However this season has not gone to plan, with Stade suffering seven defeats in their opening eleven games. The most shocking of which came against the likes of Oyonnax, Agen and Brive. As a result, last season’s champions now find themselves four points clear of the relegation zone.
With many commentators believing that Stade are in Crisis, the club’s President, Thomas Savare, was forced to deny such claims earlier this week.
It is not enough to field players who have talent to win. We must work to win. The club is not in crisis.
However Hugo Bonneval was not as adamant, telling the publication, ‘Stade Francais are in danger… Christmas is over, we have no time’.
Jules Plisson was equally unequivocal admitting to Rugbyrama, that at a psychological level it is ‘complicated’. Indeed the fly half echoed Bonneval claiming, ‘these are not easy times in which to live because we are not ranking well. We are in danger.’
Like Munster, Stade will be looking to turn their season around with a confidence building win. However they face a difficult task against table toppers Toulouse, who easily beat Toulon 31-8 last weekend.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena