French clubs Racing 92 and Stade Francais have announced their decision to merge ahead of the next season.
The decision comes after both the club's president decided to expand their base in the country. The two teams compete with each other in the Top 14 league where Racing 92 and Stade Francais are positioned eighth and 11th in the table for the ongoing season.
The merger of the two clubs based in Paris will need ratification from Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR).
The vacant position in the tournament for the next season will be filled either by a play off or else there will be another promotion from the second tier tournament.
"This association, effective from next season, must give birth to a new club that will preserve the roots of Racing 92 and those of the Stade Francais Paris while multiplying the means put at the service of youth and French rugby," said a joint statement released by the two clubs.
"Consolidated by its dual culture, by the fierce determination of its two presidents and its increased audience in a population pool unmatched in France, this new club has a long-term commitment to build a true reference day after day."