Stade Francais players to strike over Racing 92 merger

Both Top 14 clubs announced they were joining forces on Monday

Stade Francais, Pascal Pape, rugby

Stade Francais' Pascal Pape ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Stade Francais players have voted to go on strike following news of the club's proposed merger with Parisian rivals, Racing 92.

They held talks with the French Players Union this afternoon, with an overwhelming majority voting for unlimited strike action, according to the head of the players' union.

If the strike goes ahead, the Stade players will not line out in the Top 14 against Castres on Saturday.

According to the plans for the merger, the head coaches will be drawn from the ranks of Racing 92 where Munster and Ireland legend Ronan O'Gara is part of the setup.

The reaction from Stade Francais players has been one of anger and disappointment.

On Monday, ex-France lock Pascal Papé tweeted: "Today my sadness is so profound and I'd prefer not to comment. I will share my thoughts soon".  

His team-mate, France international Djibril Camara, also spoke of his anger in a Q&A with 24 Matins Sport, saying: "It's as if they informed me that my mother had died. It's a stab in the back. I'm just so disappointed and sad, really."

Camara has been at Stade Francais since the beginning of his professional career in 2007.