RANGERS and French Ligue 2 side Le Havre will go head-to-head next month in a special pre-season friendly to celebrate the 140 years both clubs have been in existence.

And the match, which will be played on Thursday July 12 at 8.45pm local time, will also mark the opening of Le Havre’s stunning new stadium, the Grand Stade du Havre, which has taken two years to build.

The 25,000 capacity arena will provide excellent seating and facilities for travelling Bears and a pristine pitch for Ally McCoist’s players as they look to get match action under their belts.

Le Havre, formed in 1872 by British residents in Upper Normandy, is regarded as being the oldest association football and rugby club registered in France and like Rangers has a proud history.

Winners of the French Cup in 1959 the Sky and Navy Blues, as they are also known, have also competed 24 times in Ligue 1 with their last stint in the country’s top flight back in 2008/09.

Now managed by Cédric Daury and captained by midfielder Hassane Alla Le Havre finished 15th in Ligue 2 in 2011/12 but is famous for developing talented young players.

French stars Ibrahim Ba,  Lassana Diarra and Vikash Dhorasoo are just a few that came through the ranks along with Jean-Alain Boumsong who started his career with the club, making 41 appearances, before joining Auxerre and then Rangers in 2004.

Following the trip to Le Havre, which is situated on the shores of the English Channel next to the mouth of the River Seine, the Light Blues will take on Southampton and Arsenal in 45-minute fixtures in the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup at St Mary’s Stadium on July 14.

The club will then depart for their pre-season camp in Germany where they will face Eintracht Braunschweig on July 20, SV Rodinghausen on July 22 and Armenia Bielefeld on July 25.

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