European Professional Club Rugby | Stade Français Paris returns to the EPCR Challenge Cup

2010/2011: Finalists

Twice European Cup finalists, Stade Français reached the showpiece Challenge Cup match for the first time in 2010/11, recording six group stage wins against Crociati Rugby, Leeds Carnegie and Bucharest Oaks at home and outside. The Parisians then emerged victorious from a thrilling clash against Montpellier Hérault Rugby in the quarter-finals, recovering from a handicap of 16 points to win at Charléty (32-28). The Soldat Roses signed another success in the semi-final against ASM Clermont Auvergne (29-25), with in particular 19 points from Lionel Beauxis. On the occasion of the final disputed against the Arlequins, in Cardiff City Stadium, the Parisians seemed to have done the hard part by registering qfour sanctioned (Beauxis) and two drops (Mathieu Bastareaud and Martin Rodriguez). But a try in the 76th minute allowed the English club to win on the wire (19-18).

2012/2013: Finalists

Stade Français once again came very close to victory two years later. The Parisians qualified for the knockout stage with five wins out of six games played in the group stage. Their only loss came against Grenoble on matchday five. Les Soldats Roses went to the lawn of Bath Rugby, in the quarter-finals, where they won an impressive victory (36-20), before beating USAP in the semi-finals (25-22) at Stade Aimé- Giral. Jérôme Porical scored two decisive penalties on this occasion, in the last ten minutes, to allow Stade Français to catch up. But the fairy tale ended in the final against Leinster Rugby, at the RDS Arena, Jérémy Sinzelle scoring their only Parisian try (34-13).

2016/2017: Champions

Stade Français finally won its first Challenge Cup title in the 2016/2017 edition. Their campaign began with a defeat on the ground of the Arlequins (43-21). But Gonzalo Quesada’s side advanced to the quarter-finals after picking up four wins in their last five group stage matches. Their journey to the final was far from simple as they first held on to dispose of the Ospreys (25-21), despite the expulsion of Josaia Raisuqe, before Jules Plisson converted Hugh Pyle’s try and did not register a drop in the last three minutes to offer a spectacular victory to his team over Bath Rugby, in the semi-finals, at the Stade Jean-Bouin (28-25). Opposed to Gloucester Rugby, in the final organized at BT Murrayfield Stadium, the Soldats Roses triumphed for their third final in the competition with tries from Sergio Parisse, Jonathan Danty and Geoffrey Doumayrou (25-17).

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