Top 14 rugby union giants Racing 92 and Stade Francais have revealed that they will play as one combined Paris-based team.
The two French outfits will aim to compete as the new entity from the beginning of the 2017/18 season. However, their merger must be ratified by the country’s National Rugby League (LNR). As of yet, the name of the Parisian super club, the make-up of their coaching staff and the way a combined squad will operate are unknown.
A joint statement from the two parties said: ‘These two flagship clubs of Paris and the Hauts de Seine - beyond the sporting rivalry they have enjoyed - have many other similarities: a strong local and regional anchorage, a historic educational mission, ancestral ties with the Olympic movement or an inextinguishable will to progress in all areas.
‘It is on the basis of these principles that the two clubs lay the foundations for a merger project by pooling their resources to better cope with the challenges of performance and learning.
‘This association, effective from next season, will give birth to a new club that will preserve the roots of Racing 92 and those of the Stade Français Paris while multiplying the means dedicated to youth and French rugby.’
Stade Francais and Racing 92 were winners of French rugby union’s top-tier championship in 2015 and 2016 respectively.