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Premiership Rugby

Pichot confirms Stade Français switch

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The 28-year-old Pichot is rated as one of the top scrum-halves in the world, having won 45 caps for Argentina, and joins a Stade Français scrum-half contingent including veteran France captain Fabien Galthié, as well as former Northampton back-up Ian Vass.

"The French club has some superb players and it'll be great to be competing in the Heineken Cup again," Pichot told the official Bristol website, after a recent period which saw the future of Bristol's players uncertain due to the financial implications of their relegation.

In reality, a player of Pichot's class would have found a host of clubs queueing up to sign him, but he said of his time at Bristol: "The club and the supporters have all made me and my family very welcome during our time in Bristol and I'm very sad to be leaving. I never thought that I would move on.

"There's a big challenge waiting at Stade Français and there'll be a lot to live up to after their success this year, and I hope I can build up a similar relationship with the Stade Français supporters that means as much to me as the people of Bristol do.

"I'd be lying if I said the last few months have been easy, but I can now leave knowing that there will be a Bristol rugby club in the city and the fans and supporters have something to follow," he said, after previous speculation that Bristol may merge with neighbours Bath or move out of the city altogether.

"There is a huge amount of belief and commitment to rugby in Bristol and the supporters need to get behind the club in Division One," added Pichot, who joined the club from another victim of rugby's professional struggle, Richmond.

"The atmosphere at our games last season was great and if it can be replicated in the new season, the Bristol club will stand head and shoulders above others."

By Mark Smith


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