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Stade Français: A new challenge for Saints

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

With just four days until Saints host the European Champions Cup play-off final after defeating Connacht at the weekend to get through, Friday's opposition are somewhat of an unknown entity, Saints and Stade Francais never having met before in competition over their histories.

Unbeaten at home in 2016/17, it has been Stade’s indifferent form on the road that saw them finish seventh in the Top 14.

That said, while points in the early season proved difficult to pick up away from Stade Jean Bouin, perhaps their most impressive victory of the season came on their travels and in Europe – the Challenge Cup semi-final with Opsreys in Cardiff.

That 25-21 win at the Welsh national stadium paved the way for a first major trophy in European competition as Stade cruised past Gloucester in Edinburgh – ironically gifting the Saints’ their place in last weekend’s play-off semi-finals. 

The Parisians already had their place lined up courtesy of a seventh placed finish in the Top 14 and the 2015 champions only missed out on a quarter final berth by a solitary win – an agonising 27-26 last day defeat at Montpellier seeing capital rivals Racing sneak into the final qualification spot.

It has in fact been since the announcement and subsequent cancelation of a merger between Stade and Racing that today’s visitors have enjoyed an upturn in form and after a thumping 46-21 semi-final win over Cardiff a week ago, expect them to arrive on Friday all guns blazing.

Saints host Stade Francais on Friday (May 26th) in the European Champions Cup play-off final for the chance to earn the last spot in the top-tier of European rugby next season. Tickets for Friday's game are now available to collect for 17/18 Season Ticket Holders as well as being available to purchase on general sale. CLICK HERE for all the information.

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