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Expansionists: Where are they now? Paris St Germain

When you hear the team, Paris St Germain, many would instantly think of the cash-ridden football side. But at the start of the Super League season, a new club from Paris was formed to try and grow the game in continental Europe.

They even opened the Super League with a Friday night clash against Sheffield Eagles at the Stade Sebastien Charletey. However, this proved to be a false dawn, and they went careering down the table after losing 11 games in a row.

They just did enough to survive that first season, finishing just two points above bottom club Workington Town.

At the end of the season, club President Jacques Fouroux resigned and left the club in debt and facing a very uncertain future.


At the start of the new season, they had a new President in place; Jacques Larrose. If 1996 was turbulent, then 1997 would pose even more perilous for the Parisians.

They almost didn’t start the season, after some serious budget problems. It left them five-million francs down. As a result, they had to sell a lot  of their players.

When the season did get underway, they made Challenge Cup history as the first non-English side to play in that competition. What’s more, they did it with a side consisting entirely of Australia and New Zealand players.

On the pitch, things seemed to be going better. However, there was trouble afoot.  Several players’ contracts were denounced to the authorities. It emerged they did not have employment contracts, but tourist visas to avoid paying certain taxes in France.

Just a few days later, they disengaged from the Paris St-Germain club, and became known as Paris Rugby League.

Without a permanent home, they were kicked out of the Super League following the completion of the season. Their final game was a 48-6 defeat against Salford in the Premiership Trophy.


It was always going to be diffcult for Paris, as they were well outside the southern heartlands where the game was normally played.

French Rugby League had taken a hit as a result, the league had to cancel because PSG had poached a lot of players from its clubs.

However, it is showing signs of recovery. There are competitive leagues now and we even have two sides in the English pyramid. Catalans Dragons and Toulouse.

It is certainly an intriguing thought to see how French Rugby League can advance further. It has come a long way since it was banned by the government.

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