In the 1905-6 season, Stratford entered the international era with a visit to Sporting Club Universitaire de France, (SCUF).in Paris. The oldest international amateur club sporting fixture in the world took place for the first time on the 26th November 1905, one full year before the first France v England full international match took place. SCUF were already planning to celebrate their 10th anniversary and the French RFU had recently established an ‘entente cordial’ with the English RFU. In the spirit of this new initiative senior figures within SCUF approached Stratford upon Avon RUFC with an idea to stage a game.

This opening game was played at the Parc du Princes, watched by a crowd of 3000 spectators, with France international Frantz Reichel as SCUF captain. Stratford, captained by GH Rose (father of ‘Sonny’), won 21-0. The following year SCUF travelled across the channel and were entertained on their arrival at a formal civic reception, attended by various dignitaries, including famous local novelist Marie Corelli, in the Old Town Hall. The return game was watched by an astonishing 2000 spectators at Pearcecroft on the 24th February 1906 and although they put up a fierce struggle, SCUF eventually lost 27-3.

This tradition continues to this day, with matches in Paris and Stratford in alternate years.

On occasions even mini and junior players get involved in this colourful event.

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