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Stade Francais unveil huge overhaul with 12 exits and 9 signings

By Josh Raisey
Louis Carbonel (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Just days after having their hopes of a Top 14 title dashed at the hands of Bordeaux-Begles in the semi-finals, Stade Francais have unveiled a huge change of playing personnel heading into next season.


The Parisian outfit confirmed that twelve players have left the Stade Jean-Bouin, including centurions Laurent Panis, lock Mathieu de Giovanni, fullback Kylan Hamdaoui and fly-half Joris Segonds.

Former France scrum-half Rory Kockott is perhaps the headline departee, who came out of retirement earlier in the season to join as a medical joker but enjoyed a standout campaign.

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Georgia internationals prop Vasil Kakovin and flanker Giorgi Tsutskiridze, Australia centre Sefanaia Naivalu, back row Giovanni Habel-Küffner, hooker Mickaël Ivaldi, flanker Julien Ory and winger Stephane Ahmed complete the list.

With the dozen exits comes plenty of arrivals in the French capital, with the club announcing nine new signings, including four internationals.

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France fly-half Louis Carbonel has joined the club from Top 14 rivals Montpellier, with fellow France international Yoan Tanga joining from La Rochelle.

Italy hooker Giacomo Nicotera and Portugal winger Raffaele Costa Storti complete the list of internationals, with the pair joining from Benetton and Beziers, respectively.


France’s lower divisions have proven to be a rich source of players for Stade Francais, who have picked up hooker Luka Petriashvili from Carcassonne in the Nationale and Biarritz fullback Joe Jonas from Pro D2.

The final three signings are Pau winger Samuel Ezeala, Montpellier fly-half Louis Foursans-Bourdette and Bayonne back row Pierre Huguet, who have all made moves within the Top 14.

“These are players that we have been targeting for several months and we are happy that they are joining us,” said Stade Francais head coach Laurent Labit.

“They fit perfectly into our project and tick the boxes to continue the work already done this season. Serious players to work with humility in a common dynamic, this will be the leitmotif of next season.


“Stade Français Paris must play the leading roles every year and with these reinforcements, we give ourselves the means to do so.”

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finn 4 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

What a difference 9 months makes! Last autumn everyone was talking about how important versatile bench players were to SA’s WC win, now we’re back to only wanting specialists? The timing of this turn is pretty odd when you consider that some of the best players on the pitch in the SA/Ireland match were Osbourne (a centre playing out of position at 15), Feinberg-Mngomezulu (a fly-half/centre playing out of position at 15), and Frawley (a utility back). Having specialists across the backline is great, but its not always necessary. Personally I think Frawley is unlikely to displace Crowley as first choice 10, but his ability to play 12 and 15 means he’s pretty much guaranteed to hold down a spot on the bench, and should get a decent amount of minutes either at the end of games or starting when there are injuries. I think Willemse is in a similar boat. Feinberg-Mngomezulu possibly could become a regular starter at 10 for the Springboks, but he might not, given he’d have to displace Libbok and Pollard. I think its best not to put all your eggs in one basket - Osbourne played so well at the weekend that he will hopefully be trusted with the 15 shirt for the autumn at least, but if things hadn’t gone well for him he could have bided his time until an opportunity opened up at centre. Similarly Feinberg-Mngomezulu is likely to get a few opportunities at 15 in the coming months due to le Roux’s age and Willemse’s injury, but given SA don’t have a single centre aged under 30 its likely that opportunities could also open up at 12 if he keeps playing there for Stormers. None of this will discount him from being given gametime at 10 - in the last RWC cycle Rassie gave a start at 10 to Frans Steyn, and even gave de Klerk minutes there off the bench - but it will give him far more opportunities for first team rugby.

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FEATURE Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma