Paddy Jackson suffers heavy defeat on Top 14 debut as Paul O'Connell's Stade Francais get flying start
Perpignan 15 Stade Francais 46
It was an inauspicious return to professional rugby for Paddy Jackson as his Perpignan side were well-beaten by Stade Francais in their opening Top 14 game this afternoon.
The ex-Ulster and Ireland fly-half did score a try in his first appearance in the Top 14 since his move to Perpignan, but he could do little to prevent his side from falling to a comprehensive 46-15 defeat.
Jackson started at fly-half and played 70 minutes for the newly-promoted club, but they were never a match for a Stade Francais despite the visitors losing legendary Italian number eight Sergio Parisse to a red card late in the first half.
Four first-half tries from Stade put them well in control, and Kylan Hamdaoui and Piet van Zyl crossed in the second half to put the result beyond doubt.
Former Munster and Ireland captain Paul O'Connell was on the sideline for Stade Francais having taken up a role as forwards coach ahead of the season.
There is more Irish interest in France this evening as Simon Zebo makes his Top 14 debut for Racing 92 when they travel to Toulon, kick-off in the Stade Mayol is at 7.45pm Irish time.