The Top 14 is back in our lives, with former Irish international Simon Zebo set to make his Racing debut against Toulon later today.
Earlier in the day, Stade Francais - Paul O'Connel's Stade Francais to give them their full title - made light work of newly-promoted Perpignan.
They did so in spite of losing the great Sergio Parisse to a straight red card before half-time. The Italian was sent off for this incident, in which it was deemed he elbowed an opponent. It didn't seem intentional on Parisse's part, and the better part of recklessness belonged to his opponent.
Sergio Parisse Red Card
Man runs into Sergio Parisse's shoulder. Parisse gets sent off. What a ridiculous and dangerous precedent this sets for rugby. Player safety is key to our sport but denying a player the option of bracing for a heavy impact tackle is idiotic. This rule needs reviewing. #Top14
— doogie (@doogie_nights) August 25, 2018
Sergio Parisse red-carded in the first half of the first game of the Top 14 season. Elbow high but feels very harsh, protecting himself while collecting a high ball. Stade lead 29-3. #USAPSFP
— Paul Eddison (@pauleddison) August 25, 2018
In spite of playing the rest of the game with 14 - and at times 13 - men, Stade were comfortable throughout, eventually winning 46-15.
Perpignan did run in two tries to add gloss to the scoreline, one of which was scored by former Irish international Paddy Jackson.