Will Genia’s immediate rugby future is up in the air with his Stade Francais teammates’ decision to strike against the French club’s merger with Racing 92.
Players were shocked by the clubs’ decision which may leave some out of a job, while a return to Australia for Wallabies scrumhalf Genia could be on the cards with his stated desire to one day move home.
Stade Francais lock Pascal Pape said “99 per cent” of his squad has agreed with the decision to take action.
“We have decided to go on strike. We find this decision intolerable,” Pape told reporters on Tuesday, a day after presidents from both Paris-based clubs announced the merger plans.
“It will be a difficult fight, an irritating one for our players. But as the club’s most senior player I am standing by this (decision).”
The team’s next scheduled match was supposed to be away to Castres on Saturday.
Genia’s compatriot Hugh Pyle also plays at Stade Francais, while Racing’s squad does not include any Australians but does comprise All Blacks greats Dan Carter, Ali Williams and Joe Rokocoko.
Racing 92 are the reigning French champions and both clubs play in the Top 14 championship. The clubs have won a combined 20 titles.
Stade Francais centre Jonathan Danty said he was upset because the players were not made aware of the club’s plans.
“I’m still trying to come to terms with what’s been done behind our backs,” Danty said.
“We’ve always been told we’re the future of the club. We’ve often heard that if we leave, the club’s finished, and now we realise that everything’s been done behind our backs.
“It’s pretty hard to swallow.”