Stade play down Pape’s move to Top14 rivals

Stade Francais president Thomas Savare has dismissed speculation that France lock Pascal Pape will move to Top 14 rivals Lyon next season.

“I am not aware (of a move),” Savare told AFP amid reports the 34-year-old international, who has 59 caps for France, was ready to leave.

“For me he is under contract with Stade Francais until June 2016. And we’ll talk about his extension very quickly. Of course we want to keep him.”

Lyon-born Pape had been linked with a move back to his home region despite their near certain relegation from the top flight next season.

Meanwhile the Stade Francais boss confirmed the arrival after the World Cup of Australia and Queensland Reds scrum-half Will Genia, 27, adding that they wanted to recruit some further cover for during the tournament.

“It’s (scrum-half) a position which we wanted to strengthen,” said Savare. “We had this opportunity and we seized it.

“We’re going to operate with three good scrum halves,” he added of Genia, Julien Dupuy and Julien Tomas.

Savare admitted he was worried about the quality of French club rugby when their internationals leave on World Cup duty from September 18 to October 31 in England.

“We’ll have more than 15 absent, of which 5 or 6 in the front row,” he said.

“Northern hemisphere clubs asked to move the dates of the World Cup forward, World Rugby decided to push it back. We’re going to sacrifice northern hemisphere club rugby. The championship will be a bit unbalanced,” he added.

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