Sunday, April 10, 2011

Felipe Contepomi may join Stade Français

Stade Français have had two difficult years iun which the side has been well and truely a shadow of its former self. The club has gone from champions in 2007 to losing semi finalists in 2008 and 2009 to now a lower table side. The current season has been nothing less than a disaster with unthinkable losses against the likes of Brive, Castres and La Rochelle. The glory of the Agustín Pichot-Juan Martín Hernández 9-10 era with Pichot as captain seems like a distant memory. The team also had Canadian legend Mike James as well as some elite French players such as Christophe Dominici. The loss of these players seems to have contributed in a big way to the performances of the Parisian club. All have been repalced by inferior players. The club, for instance, has being fielding wingers who sould not make most Top 14 sides.

Players have been left out of the French international side who were previously first choice players such as Pascal Pape, Mathieu Bastareaud, Julien Dupuy and Lionel Beauxis. All have been unable to produce their previous form for Stade Français and naturally the club is not so keen on maintaining their high salaries. Beauxis has confirmed his departure and will be joining the reigning Heineken Cup champions, Toulouse after Rugby World Cup 2011. His form is such that he is hihgly unlike to make the French squad. A remarkable turn around considering he started vs New Zealand in the Quarter Final victory in 2007. Bastareaud is rumoured to be on his way to Toulon but for this to happen Stade Français require a trade as he remains under contract with the Parisians.

Toulon have Argentina captain, Felipe Contepomi, on their books for a further two seasons but also have English international flyhalf Johnny Wilkinson and Australian international flyhalf, Matt Giteau is to join the team after the World Cup. The possibility of Contepomi replacing Beauxis appears to be very real and such a move has been underlined by the fact that the teams coach and assistant coach worked with Contepomi in Ireland at his former club, Leinster. Stade Français are coached by Contepomi´s former coach, Michael Cheika and one of his twqo assistants is Chris Whitaker who played 9 with Contepomi at 10 for Leinster. Without question it would be a huge coup d´etát for Stade Français who have lacked a playmaking flyhalf.

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