The France international utility back David Skrela looks set to leave Stade Français Paris to join Toulouse at the end of the season.
In an interview in the French newspaper L'Equipe, the Stade Francais player confirmed that he has signed a three year contract with the three time Heineken Cup champions Toulouse. The fly half, who can also play centre, will move back in his native region and will join the club of his father and that he supported as a child.
Speaking to L'Equipe the French international said :
"Toulouse is a strong club where you have every year high objectives to achieve. Last year, the club called me but I was not interested because I had one more year in Paris… I have many memories of when my father (Jean-Claude Skrela, the former France head coach and Toulouse player) played in "Les Sept-Deniers", and when I was a child I always supported Toulouse."
The 29 year old won the European Challenge Cup in 1998 with Colomiers and has scored a total 391 points in the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup tournaments. Skrela (38 appearances in Heineken Cup) was also on a starting line-up with Paris in 2005, when Stade Français were beaten by Toulouse in the Heineken Final at Murrayfield.
The utility back also confirmed that his contract with Toulouse will be the last of his professional career.
"I will sign a three year contract with Toulouse which means it would be the last one for me. I think about the end of my career, what I can do after… I have a civil engineering degree and Toulouse proposed to help me. 17 years in Colomiers, 5 years in Paris and 3 in Toulouse, it would be a nice career for a player, isn't it?"
Despite this decision, Skrela still remains emotional about leaving Stade Français, a club at which he experienced "strong sensations" but where it was above all a "formidable and intense human adventure." The French international said he would never forget his time at Stade Français and, most of all, the people he played and worked with at the club.
In two weeks, Stade Français will host Toulouse at the Stade de France, a big challenge for the future Toulouse player who will wear the Paris jersey until the end of the season.
"I don't know yet if I will play but I'm in Paris until the end of the season and I will give my best to win another France title in June" the international concluded.
As part of the build-up to next month's Cardiff 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals weekend, ERC has joined forces with the WRU, Cardiff Blues and adidas to develop an annual grassroots community rugby programme targeting young players.
The Ulster Rugby full back, Jared Payne (No 15), has been suspended for two (2) weeks following an independent Disciplinary Hearing in Dublin arising from the Heineken Cup quarter-final match against Saracens at Ravenhill Stadium on Saturday, 5 April.