Top 14 clashes put off due to Paris club merger row


PARIS (Reuters) - Two Top 14 matches set for this weekend are being postponed due to a dispute over a proposed merger of rugby clubs Racing 92 and Stade Francais, the LNR rugby union league said after crisis talks on Friday.

"The LNR bureau has taken the unprecedented nature of the situation into account and decided, exceptionally, to push back until later this weekend's matches between Castres Olympique and Stade Francais and between Montpellier Herault Rugby and Racing 92," it said in a statement.

Stade Francais players announced an open-ended strike last Tuesday after the shock announcement a day earlier that the two clubs' bosses were proposing a merger.

After several hours of crisis talks involving those two, players and the rugby authorities on Friday, a further meeting was scheduled on the disputed merger next Monday evening.

New dates for the postponed fixtures will be announced next Monday at the latest, said the LNR statement, which spoke of "the shockwave and emotion" caused by the tie-up plan.

(Reporting By Brian Love; editing by John Irish)

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