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Meyer to bring in two former Springboks and give under-fire Stade a lift

By Online Editors
Lionel Mapoe, in action where with South Africa against France in 2017, is set to link up with Stade Francais (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

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Heyneke Meyer is going back to his native South Africa to bolster State Francais ahead of the 2019/20 Top 14 season. The Parisian club, who struggled for consistency during Meyer’s first campaign, has been undergoing a huge overhaul since last season ended. 

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Meyer’s latest changes, according to RugbyRama, see the arrival of South African internationals Ruan Combrinck, who has signed up for two years, and Lionel Mapoe, as a World Cup joker.

Last capped in 2016, 29-year-old Combrinck has played in recent seasons for the Lions in Super Rugby and in Japan’s second division.

Thirty-year-old Mapoe, whose last Springboks cap came against Argentina in Mendoza in August 2018, also comes from the Lions and could potentially extend his short term contract in Paris is he impresses during the World Cup window.

Combrinck and Mapoe join up with a clatter of other new Meyer signings, a list including Pablo Matera, Sefanaia Naivalu, James Hall, Loic Godener, Joris Segonds, Pierre-Henry Azagoh, Quentin Béthune, Thierry Feuteu, Chris Mavinga and Christopher Vaotoa.

Stade have also announced that former hooker Laurent Sempere is joining Meyer’s coaching staff at the age of just 33. 

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The club will hope these new additions can help offset a stream of negative headlines surrounding the club in recent months. 

They are allegedly facing court action in September from a number of former players who feel cheated due to non-payment from their company savings plan. 

The Hans-Pieter Wild-owned club have failed to qualify for the Top 14 play-offs for four consecutive seasons, have reputedly recorded an operating deficit of €35million over the course of the past two years, and a series of internal wrangling has led to the messy departures of some high profile people. 

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That list includes ousted coach Julien Dupuy, Bordeaux-bound Alexandre Flanquart, Bayonne signing Djibril Camara and long-serving talisman Sergio Parisse.

Meyer also lost the services of his two Irish assistants for next season after Mike Prendergast took up a role at cross-city rivals Racing 92 and Paul O’Connell opted against taking up the second year of his contract. 

WATCH: Episode three of the RugbyPass Rugby Explorer series sees Jim Hamilton take a trek through South African rugby 

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Meyer to bring in two former Springboks and give under-fire Stade a lift

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