20 Mar 2017

Merger between Paris rugby clubs off

7:56 am on 20 March 2017

A planned merger between Parisian rugby powerhouses Racing 92 and Stade Francais has been cancelled, less than a week after it was announced.

Stade Francais players had begun an open-ended strike last week, denouncing what they called a takeover in disguise, while the French federation and the Paris mayor also opposed the merger.

Racing 92 president Jacky Lorenzetti said in a statement that he had "decided to give this beautiful project up," Lorenzetti said in a statement.

"I have heard and understood the reservations... the social, human, sporting conditions are not met. Perhaps we were right too soon," he added.

"The future of Stade Francais will be written without us and I wish them the best."

Joe Rokocoko, left, and Dan Carter

Former All Blacks Joe Rokocoko, left, and Dan Carter are at Racing 92. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The players' union said that the strike was now over.

Stade Francais president Thomas Savare has previously said that he does not have the cash to keep the 14-times French champions afloat.

"I have heard the emotion, the surprise and the incomprehension of the fans, the players and members of our association," Savare said in a statement.

Star players in the Racing 92 squad include former All Blacks Dan Carter and Joe Rokocoko.

While Stade Francais feature the likes of French international Pascal Pape and Italian captain Sergio Parisse.