Stade Francais may be the bottom side in the suspended Top 14 league, but they are top of the charts in France when it comes to how their players have generously reacted to offering support to others following the coronavirus outbreak. 

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All rugby clubs in France took a mandatory per cent pay cut when the season was suspended to combat the spread of the virus.  

However, rather than cause friction and float the possibility of legal action, as is the alleged situation among some players in England after they had a 25 per cent pay cut forced on them, Stade Francais have proven themselves to be troopers in two instances – organising a kitty to help Parisian hospitals at the front line in fighting the virus and also setting up a pool among the squad to help lower-paid workers at the club through the crisis. 

Stade’s solidarity fund is hoping to raise €30,000 to help medics in Parisian hospitals, a cash-raiser bolstered by the raffling of ten jerseys signed by the squad and several more collector’s items, including a 2015 Top 14 final jersey worn by Laurent Sempere.

In a further gesture, Midi Olympique are reporting that Stade Francais players are conscious that administrative staff at the club have suffered 15 to 20 per cent pay cuts and they want to help anyone hit hard by this measure.  

An internal pool has been launched where players can contribute as much as they want to assist their fellow employees whose wages at the club are not as substantial as what players earn.

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“When you earn €30,000 a month, it’s weird to lose 20 per cent due to partial unemployment but you always have the fridge that is full,” said one unnamed player.

“On the other hand, for someone who earns €1,500, €2,000 or €3,000 euros, it’s not the same story to have 20 per cent of their salary withdrawn. In a moment like this, it’s good to say that we have values, but it’s also good to show it.”

WATCH: Billy Vunipola chats to Jim Hamilton in the latest episode of The Lockdown, the new RugbyPass series

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