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Rugby is an extremely popular sport in Paris. Stade Francais, along with one other team, represent Paris's home rugby teams. Stade Francais is now known for their winning record and flashy pink jerseys. Most of this can be attributed to owner Max Guazzini. Stade Francais has a long history in Paris dating back to the 1800s. For many years Stade Francais was out of favor and not well known. Now when you visit Paris you will feel the presence of this popular rugby team. If you are in Paris during rugby season you will be sure to have a good time if you take in a Stade Francais match.
Stade Francais has a long history of playing rugby in Paris. While Rugby started in England, it quickly moved into France. In 1883 Stade Francais was started by a group of university students. The name Stade Francais differed from most of the other teams which were named in the English style. Stade Francais played the first rugby union game against Racing Club de France in 1892. In 1908 Stade Francais fell out of favor in Paris because they were no longer competing at the highest level. Stade Francais remained as a club for the next eighty years, but saw a great revitalization in the 1990s. In 1992, Max Guazzini, a French entrepreneur, took ownership of the team. He completely turned the team around both in image and in competitiveness. In 1995 Guazzini combined Stade Francais with Club Athlétique des Sports Généraux, returning the club the high level rugby.
Stade Charlety has been the latest home to Stade Francais rugby matches. This stadium is located in the 13th arrondissement in Paris. This stadium was originally built in 1939, but underwent a compete remodel in 1989. The stadium holds about 20,000 fans. In addition to rugby, you can find tennis and football at Stade Charlety, as well as non sporting events.
This relatively small stadium has been the traditional home of Stade Francais. This stadium is located in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. The stadium only hold about 10,000 fans, therefore many of Stade Francais's large matches have been held elsewhere. As of 2011 the stadium is undergoing major renovations. For the largest games, Stade Francais plays at Stade de Francais, which can hold up to 80,000 dans.
Throughout most of its history Stade Francais has worn red, blue, and white. These colors, while classic to France, did not make the team stand out. At least that is how owner Max Guazzini felt. In recent years, Stade Francais has been wearing what some would call flashier jerseys. The team sports lightening bolts on pink jerseys. Guazzini saw pink as a color that would stand out because so few sports teams wear it. The decision to go flashy has paid off. People can be seen sporting pink rugby jerseys all over the world. In addition, the homepage of Stade Francais advertises pink underwear, just what every rugby fans needs.
The Top 14 is rugby at its finest in France. Of the 14 teams competing across the country, Stade Francais has some inner city rivalry. Racing Metro is another Top 14 team representing Paris. Since the team regained its top level status in 1995, Stade Francais has continued to win Top 14 championships every few years. They have five championships under their belt. Stade Francais also competes in the international Heineken Cup. In addition, French players have the change to represent their country every four years at the Rugby World Cup.