Stade Français - Stade Jean-Bouin
The Stade Jean-Bouin
The French are never ones to shy away from a hefty club name, and Stade Français Club Athlétique des Sports Généraux is no different. Founded way back in 1883 in their original form, the Parisians are one of the names in club rugby and are never shy to try something different. In the early days of competitive rugby in France, Stade were one of the top sides and won the French Championship on eight occasions between 1893 and 1908.Then followed a barren period that lasted nearly a century with the side knocking about the lower divisions of French rugby. Queue owner Max Guazzini, who merged Stade with the CASG club in 1992 and built the club back into the top-flight, all-singing all-dancing side that it is today.
Ground Information Back to Top ^
Although big fixtures can find themselves moved to the much larger Stade de France, the Stade Jean-Bouin is Stade Français' regular home. You can never be sure of quite what you'll get on matchday here with some unusual and less traditional punts at matchday entertainment ranging from cheerleaders to radio controlled cars, that does little to stifle the discontent often aimed at the club from the game's purists.
The Stade Jean-Bouin is a fully covered, fully seated ground right next door to the Parc des Princes in the 16th district of the French capital. Redeveloped in 2013 to its current capacity of 20,000, it is a modern and attractive stadium. Constructed in a bowl shape, there are significantly more seats along pitchside compared to behind the posts (to reduce the impact on local residents) and a good sprinkling of pink is always in view.
It's an eco-friendly ground, with rainwater collected to water the pitch and solar panels to provide green energy.
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Driving in Paris? Really?
If you are brave enough, there are parking spots available at the ground but they are in short supply.
The Parisian metro system is excellent, and even for the non-French speaker is straightforward to navigate. There are several stops within an easy walk of the stadium, either on Metro Line 9 (alight at the 'Exelmans' stop) or Line 10 (Porte d'Auteuil).
is a focal point of the high-speed rail network in France and Western
Europe. The majority of international services arrive at the Gare du
Nord, including those from London, Brussels, Holland and Germany.
From within France, the majority of high-speed services operate to the Gare Montparnasse, whilst slower services arrive at either the Gare d'Auterlitz (from central/SW France) or the Gare de Lyon (from South/Eastern France). Use the Metro / RER services listed above to get to the stadium, which will likely involve a change or two.
The RailEurope website offers tickets and a useful journey planner.
Paris is served by three airports;
Charles de Gaulle
Situated in the northern suburbs, Charles de Gaulle is the closest airport to the Stade de France and also the largest airport in Paris. Flights operate to a wide range of rugby-friendly destinations including Belfast (City and International), Birmingham, Cardiff, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh, London (Heathrow, Luton and Stansted), Manchester and Toulouse. Major airlines based here include Air France, Easyjet, Aer Lingus and Flybe. A word of warning however - the airport is subdivided into loads of terminals, so make sure you know in advance which part you need!
The airport is served by direct trains (RER B) to the Stade de France and the city centre. If you are willing to risk the traffic on the roads, there is also a direct bus service operated by Roissybus from the airport to Paris.
Orly Airport is situated in the southern suburbs, where the RER train line B provides connections to central Paris and onwards to the Stade de France. Scheduled flights operate to destinations across France in addition to London (City and Heathrow), Milan (Linate), Naples, Pisa, Rome (Fiumicino), Southampton and Venice (Marco Polo).
Beauvais is the Parisian choice for low cost carrier Ryanair, and as expected it is also the furthest away from the city (around 80km!). Destinations include Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow (Prestwick), Venice (Treviso), Rome (Ciampino) and Marseille.
To get into Paris, take the shuttle bus to Porte Maillot station (journey time around 1h 15 minutes) where the Paris Metro or RER will take you the rest of the way into town. Alternatively you can take a taxi around 15 minutes to the train station in Beauvais town centre, where services operate to the Gare du Nord, taking around an hour.
Drinking Back to Top ^
There are numerous bars inside the stadium, all with the now obligatory recyclable cup in France. After the match, the concourse comes alive as people congregate for a drink, often accompanied by a live band.
Before/After the Game
- Close to the ground, former Stade hooker Mathieu Blin is a co-owner of the Trinquet restaurant and bar, which will show the rugby and host a good atmosphere before a match.
- The centrally-located (nearest Métro Opéra) Kitty O'Sheas is a good rugby pub that will definitely be busy on Six Nations weekends.
- The Eden Park Pub on Rue Princesse is a good bet in Paris to catch Heineken Cup, Top14 or Six Nations matches. Situated within walking distance of Mabillon, St Sulpice and St Germain des pres Métro stations.
- The excellently-named Frog and Rosbif, McBrides and The Thistle on Rue St Denis tick the English, Irish and Scottish pub boxes, and will also show matches. All three are also within an easy walk of Châtelet-les-Halles RER station.
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Do you know any particular spots near the ground, or with a Stade flair? Let us know here!
Sleeping Back to Top ^
Can you add more information for this section on specific options close to the Stade Jean-Bouin? Let us know here!
Make a Trip of It Back to Top ^There isn't enough room here to detail all the sights and attractions that make Paris one of the most visited cities in the world. Try Wikitravel for details and recommendations on what to see and do during your stay.
Avenue du General Sarrail
- Fan's Forum
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- Following Guazzini's takeover, Stade have lifted plenty of
silverware, including six French championships, the latest of which
came in 2015.
- There has been no such luck in European competition despite plenty of good performances.
- The Parisians have found themselves losing finalists twice in the European Cup, to Leicester Tigers in 2001 and Toulouse in 2005.
- Never one to shy away from a bit of eccentricity, owner Guazzini
has had a big influence on the fashion inherent in many of the club's
- Pink is a reoccuring theme having been introduced in 2005, and you'll usually find a flower or two, flash of lightning or face here and there.
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