France national rugby union team
The France national rugby union team competes annually against England, Italy and Wales in the Six Nations Championship. They have won the championship outright seventeen times, shared it a further eight times, have completed nine grand slams. Ten former French players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. France are ranked 8th in the World Rugby Rankings as of March 18th 2019. Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by the British, on New Years Day 1906 the national side played its first Test match – against New Zealand in Paris. France played sporadically against the Home Nations until they joined them to form a Five Nations tournament in 1910. France competed in the rugby competitions at early Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal in 1900 and two silver medals in the 1920s; the national team came of age during the 1950s and 1960s, winning their first Five Nations title outright in 1959. They won their first Grand Slam in 1968. Since the inaugural World Cup in 1987, France have qualified for the knock-out stage of every tournament.
They have reached the final three times, losing to the All Blacks in 1987 and 2011 and to Australia in 1999. France hosted the 2007 Rugby World Cup, where, as in 2003, they were beaten in the semi-finals by England and will once again host the tournament in 2023. France traditionally play in blue shirts with white shorts and red socks, are referred to as les tricolores or les bleus; the French emblem is a golden rooster imposed upon a red shield. Their alternative strip is composed of navy blue shorts and socks. French international matches are played at several venues across the country. Rugby was introduced to France in 1872 by English students. On 26 February 1890, a French rugby team recruited from the Janson Desailly Lyceum defeated an international team at the Bois de Boulogne. Although France were represented at the 1900 Summer Olympics, their first official test match did not take place till New Year's Day, 1906 against the New Zealand All Blacks in Paris. France played intermittently against the Home Nations until they joined them to form the Five Nations tournament in 1910.
In 1913 France faced South Africa's Springboks for the first time. France competed at the 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics, on both occasions lost to the United States in the gold medal match. France were ejected from the Five Nations in 1932 after being accused of professionalism in the French leagues at a time when rugby union was amateur. Forced to play against weaker opposition, France went on a winning streak. France was invited to rejoin the Five Nations in 1939 but did not compete until 1947 as international rugby was suspended during World War II. French rugby came of age during the 1950s and 1960s: they won their first Five Nations championship and completed a successful tour of South Africa, their first championship was won in 1954 when they shared the title with Wales. France won their first outright Five Nations championship in 1959. France first toured South Africa winning the test series in 1958; the Springboks visited Paris in 1961, the test was not completed due to onfield fighting amongst the players.
France toured New Zealand and Australia in 1961 losing both tests against the All Blacks but defeating Australia's Wallabies. They won their first Five Nations Grand Slam in 1968 by beating all four other competing teams, won numerous titles in the following years. In 1977, France won their second Grand Slam, fielding an unchanged side throughout the tournament and conceding no tries, they defeated the All Blacks in Toulouse that year, but lost the return match in Paris. On Bastille Day, 1979 they defeated the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time, at Eden Park in Auckland. In 1981 the French clinched their third Grand Slam, they again completed a Grand Slam in 1987 on the eve of the first Rugby World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. In that tournament they came from behind numerous times to defeat the Wallabies in their semi-final, faced the All Blacks in final at Eden Park, Auckland, they shared the Five Nations with Wales the next year, won it in 1989. France hosted some of the tests during the 1991 World Cup, but made their exit from the after being knocked out by England at the Parc des Princes in their quarter-final.
One Five Nations championship was won in the early 1990s, in 1993. The following year France won a test series 2–0 in New Zealand, they were knocked out of the 1995 World Cup semi-finals by eventual champions the Springboks, but did win their third place play-off match against England. France played the All blacks in two tests, winning the first 22–15 at Toulouse and lost the second 37–12 at Paris. France won back-to-back Grand Slams in 1997 and 1998. At the 1999 World Cup they defeated tournament favourites the All Blacks in the semi-finals, but lost to the Wallabies in the final; the Five Nations Championship was expanded in 2000 to include Italy. In the now Six Nations Championship France won a Grand Slam in 2002. At the 2003 World Cup in Australia they qualified for the semi-finals where they were defeated by eventual champions England. In 2004, they won a second Six Nations Grand Slam, followed by a Championship win in 2006 and a successful defence in 2007. Dur
Aviron Bayonnais is a French rugby union club from Bayonne in Pyrénées-Atlantiques which, for the 2016-17 season, competed in the top tier of the French league system, in the Top 14 competition. In the 2015–16 Rugby Pro D2 Season they were promoted after finishing 2nd and winning the playoff final against Aurillac. In the 2016-2017 season, they finished in last place, will be relegated back to Pro D2 for the 2017-18 season. Founded in 1904, they play at the Parc des Sports known as Jean Dauger in Bayonne, their mascot is a pottok pony called pottoka. They have ties to the French Basque community; the club was established in 1904, making their first final appearance in the 1913 season, where they defeated S. C. U. F. 31-8 at the Stade Yves-du-Manoir. The national domestic championship was replaced by the Coupe de l'Espérance during World War I; the competition was played for four seasons, with Aviron Bayonnais contesting the last final, which they lost to Stadoceste Tarbais 4 to 3. With the French championship resumed, the club made their next championship game in the 1922 season where they met Toulouse.
Aviron Bayonnais lost the final 6 to nil. The two clubs would meet again the next season to again contest the championship final, which Toulouse won again, 3 to nil. Aviron Bayonnais enjoyed success during the mid-1930s, defeating Biarritz 13 to 8 in Toulouse to win their second championship, first since 1913, they won the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1936, defeating Perpignan in the final. The club saw similar results during the mid-1940s as well, with two championship final appearances. Since the 1940s the club did not find a lot of success over the coming years, as they would have to wait until the 1980s until they would again reach any of the championship finals. In 1980 they contested the final of the Challenge Yves du Manoir, defeating AS Béziers 16 to 10 to gain their second title of that competition, they made it to the final of the 1982 season, although they were defeated by SU Agen, 18 to 9. French championship: Champions: 1913, 1934 and 1943 Finalist: 1922, 1923, 1944 and 1982 Challenge Yves du Manoir: Champions: 1936 and 1980 Coupe de l'Espérance: Champions: 1919 Coupe André Moga: Champions: 1995 The current table for the 2018–19 Rugby Pro D2 is: The Bayonne squad for the 2017–18 Rugby Pro D2 season is:Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules.
Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality. Janu.2010-2010: Christian Gajan 2010-Dec.2011: Christian Gajan, Thomas Lièvremont Dec.2011-Janu.2012: Jean-Pierre Elissalde, Didier Faugeron, Pierre-Henry Broncan. Janu.2012-June 2012: Didier Faugeron, Denis Avril. 2012-2013: Christian Lanta, Christophe Deylaud, Denis Avril. 2013-2014: Christian Lanta, Christophe Deylaud 2014-2015: Patricio Noriega 2015–2017: Vincent Etcheto 2017–present: Pierre Berbizier List of rugby union clubs in France Rugby union in France Castiella, Manuel. Un siècle de rugby à Bayonne. Atlantica. Aviron Bayonnais Official website Club information
2007 Rugby World Cup
The 2007 Rugby World Cup was the sixth Rugby World Cup, a quadrennial international rugby union competition inaugurated in 1987. Twenty nations competed for the Webb Ellis Cup in the tournament, hosted by France from 7 September to 20 October. France won the hosting rights in 2003; the competition consisted of 48 matches over 44 days. The eight quarter-finalists from 2003 were granted automatic qualification, while 12 other nations gained entry through the regional qualifying competitions that began in 2004 – of them, Portugal was the only World Cup debutant; the top three nations from each pool at the end of the pool stage qualified automatically for the 2011 World Cup. The competition opened with a match between hosts France and Argentina on 7 September at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, outside Paris; the stadium was the venue of the final, played between England and South Africa on 20 October, which South Africa won 15–6 to win their second World Cup title. Both England and France bid to host the tournament.
The tender document for the 2007 bidding process was due out on 31 October 2001. Both England and France were invited to re-submit their plans; the International Rugby Board stated that both countries must comply with tender document terms in one bid, but in their second option, could propose alternative ideas. The IRB said "England's original proposal contained three plans for hosting the tournament with a traditional and hybrid format all on offer... The French bid, while complying with the tender document in all other respects, fell outside one of the `windows` in which the IRB wanted to stage an event". England's bids included a two-tier tournament and altering the structure of the qualifying tournament and France had a bid in September/October, it was announced in April 2003. The tournament was moved to the proposed September–October dates with the tournament structure remaining as it was, it was announced that ten French cities would be hosting games, with the final at the Stade de France.
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that "this decision illustrates the qualities of our country and its capacity to host major sporting events... This World Cup will be the opportunity to showcase the regions of France where the wonderful sport of rugby is rooted". French Sports Minister Jean-François Lamour said that "The organisation of this World Cup will shine over all of France because ten French towns have the privilege of organising matches and to be in the world's spotlight." French cities to host games were Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, St. Etienne and Paris, it was announced that the final would be at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis; the eight quarter-finalists from the 2003 World Cup all received automatic entry, with the other 12 nations coming from qualifying series around the world. Ten of the 20 positions available in the tournament were filled by regional qualifiers, with an additional two being filled by repechage qualification; the qualifying tournament was divided into five regional groups.
Qualifying matches began in 2004 and were completed in early 2007. Including the automatic qualifiers, over 90 nations were in qualifying contention for the final tournament. In July 2005, both Samoa and Fiji were confirmed as the qualifiers from Oceania, as Oceania 1 and 2 respectively. In July of the following year, Argentina qualified as Americas 1 by defeating Uruguay 26–0 in Buenos Aires. Americas 2 was filled in August; the United States went on to qualify as Americas 3 after beating Uruguay in a two-legged tie in early October. That month saw Italy qualify as Europe 1 after defeating Russia 67–7 in Moscow, reaching the first place in its qualifying group. Namibia qualified for their third consecutive World Cup after they earned their spot in France by defeating Morocco over two legs in November. In late 2006, it was announced that the IRB had withdrawn Colombo as the venue of the final Asian qualifying tournament due to security problems. Japan won the only Asian allocation. Georgia was 14 points the better of Portugal over two legs to claim the last European place.
Tonga qualified through repechage after defeating Korea. The final spot went to Portugal. Portugal's qualification was the only change in the 20-team roster from the 2003 World Cup, replacing Uruguay, becoming the only wholly amateur team to qualify. France won the right to host the 2007 World Cup in 2003, it was subsequently announced that four matches would be held in Wales, at Cardiff's 74,500-seat Millennium Stadium. Ireland was to have hosted matches at Lansdowne Road, but opted out because the stadium was being redeveloped. Two of Scotland's Pool C matches were played at Murrayfield Stadium in Scotland; the Scottish Rugby Union was having doubts in early 2006 about hosting these games and whether Scotland would generate enough market demand, but confirmed in April 2006 that the games would be played at Murrayfield. In the end, the Scotland v. New Zealand match failed to sell out, the stadium was less than half-full for the Scotland v. Romania match. There was a substantial increase in the overall capacity of stadiums compared to the 2003 Rugby World Cup – the smallest venue at the 2007 tournament could s
European Rugby Champions Cup
The European Rugby Champions Cup is an annual rugby union tournament organised by European Professional Club Rugby. It is the top-tier competition for clubs whose countries' national teams compete in the Six Nations Championship. Clubs qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup via their final positions in their respective national/regional leagues or via winning the second-tier Challenge Cup. Between 1995 and 2014, the competition was known as the Heineken Cup but was changed to European Rugby Champions Cup, following disagreements between its shareholders over the structure and governance of the competition. Heineken returned as sponsor for the 2018–19 season, running the competition alongside the EPCR, resulting in the competition being known as the Heineken Champions Cup. Leinster are the current holders of the title, having won their fourth title by beating Racing 92 in the 2018 final. Leinster Rugby and Toulouse have both won the competition a record four times; the Heineken Cup was launched in the summer of 1995 on the initiative of the Five Nations Committee to provide a new level of professional cross border competition.
Twelve sides representing Ireland, Italy and France competed in four pools of three with the group winners going directly into the semi-finals. English and Scottish teams did not take part in the inaugural competition. From an inauspicious beginning in Romania, where Toulouse defeated Farul Constanţa 54–10 in front of a small crowd, the competition gathered momentum and crowds grew. Toulouse went on to become the first European cup winners beating Cardiff in extra time in front of a crowd of 21,800 at Cardiff Arms Park. Clubs from England and Scotland joined the competition in 1996–97. European rugby was further expanded with the advent of the European Challenge Cup for teams that did not qualify for the Heineken Cup; the Heineken Cup now had 20 teams divided into four pools of five. Only Leicester and Brive reached the knock-out stages with 100 per cent records and made it to the final and Toulouse falling in the semi-finals. After 46 matches, Brive beat Leicester 28–9 in front of a crowd of 41,664 at Cardiff Arms Park, the match watched by an estimated television audience of 35 million in 86 countries.
The season 1997 -- 98 saw the introduction of away format in the pool games. The five pools of four teams, which guaranteed each team a minimum of six games, the three quarter-final play-off matches all added up to a 70-match tournament. Brive were beaten late in the game by Bath with a penalty kick. English clubs had decided to withdraw from the competition in a dispute over the way it was run. Without English clubs, the 1998–99 tournament revolved around France and the Celtic nations. Sixteen teams took part in four pools of four. French clubs filled the top positions in three of the groups and for the fourth consecutive year a French club, in the shape of Colomiers from the Toulouse suburbs, reached the final. Despite this it was to be Ulster's year as they beat Toulouse and reigning French champions Stade Français on their way to the final at Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Ulster carried home the trophy after a 21–6 win over Colomiers in front of a capacity 49,000 crowd. English clubs returned in 1999–00.
The pool stages were spread over three months to allow the competition to develop alongside the nations' own domestic competitions, the knockout stages were scheduled to take the tournament into the early spring. For the first time clubs from four different nations – England, Ireland and Wales – made it through to the semi-finals. Munster's defeat of Toulouse in Bordeaux ended France's record of having contested every final and Northampton Saints' victory over Llanelli made them the third English club to make it to the final; the competition was decided with a final between Munster and Northampton, with Northampton coming out on top by a single point to claim their first major honour. England supplied two of the 2000–01 semi-finalists – Leicester Tigers and Gloucester – with Munster and French champions Stade Français reaching the last four. Both semi-finals were close, Munster going down by a point 16–15 to Stade Français in Lille and the Tigers beating Gloucester 19–15 at Vicarage Road, Watford.
The final, at Parc des Princes, attracted a crowd of 44,000 and the result was in the balance right up until the final whistle, but Leicester walked off 34–30 winners. Munster reached the 2001–02 final with quarter-final and semi-final victories on French soil against Stade Français and Castres. Leicester pipped Llanelli in the last four, after the Scarlets had halted Leicester's 11-match Heineken Cup winning streak in the pool stages. A record crowd saw Leicester become the first side to defend their title. From 2002, the European Challenge Cup winner now automatically qualified for the Heineken Cup. Toulouse's victory over French rivals Perpignan in 2003 meant that they joined Leicester as the only teams to win the title twice. Toulouse saw a 19-point half-time lead whittled away as the Catalans staged a dramatic comeback in a match in which the strong wind and showers played a major role, but Toulouse survived to win. In 2003–04 the Welsh Rugby Union voted to create regions to play in the Celtic League and represent Wales in European competition.
Henceforth, Wales entered regional sides rather than the club sides that had competed. English side London Wasps had earned their first final appearance by beating Munster 37–32 in a Dublin semi-final while Toulouse triumphed 19–11 in an all-French
France at the Rugby World Cup
The France national rugby team have competed in all the Rugby World Cup tournaments. They are one of five teams who have played in the final match, having done so three times and finishing second in the tournament each time, they have made it to at least the quarter-finals at every tournament. France hosted the 2007 tournament, co-hosted the 1991 competition with Ireland and the United Kingdom, they hosted some matches of the 1999 event, where the main host was Wales. France will host again in 2023. Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Semi-final Final Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Semi-final Third-place play-off Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Semi-final Final Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Semi-final Third-place play-off Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Semi-final Bronze final Pool Knock-out stages Quarter-final Semi-final Pool Stage Quarter final The Rugby World Cup is held every four years, tends to alternate between the northern and southern hemispheres.
Every northern hemisphere tournament so far has been held in Europe, in general, France hosts some games when it is held there. England was main host in 1991. France hosted Pool D, two of the quarter-finals; the following French stadiums were used. Wales was main host in 1999. Pool C games were hosted in France; the following French stadiums were used. France was main host for the 2007 RWC; some games were held in Scotland and Wales. It was announced in April 2003; the tournament was moved to the proposed September–October dates with the tournament structure remaining as it was. It was announced that ten French cities would be hosting games, with the final at the Stade de France. French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said that "this decision illustrates the qualities of our country and its capacity to host major sporting events... This World Cup will be the opportunity to showcase the regions of France where the wonderful sport of rugby is rooted". French Sports Minister Jean-François Lamour said that "The organisation of this World Cup will shine over all of France because ten French towns have the privilege of organising matches and to be in the world's spotlight."
French cities to host games are Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, Nantes, St. Etienne and Paris, it was announced that the final would be at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. There was a substantial increase in the overall capacity of stadiums compared to the 2003 Rugby World Cup, as the smallest venue at the 2007 tournament will be 33,900. France won the right to host the event in 2003. Three matches were played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, two Pool B games that featured Wales and as well as a quarter-final. Two Pool C matches were held at Edinburgh's Murrayfield. Ireland were offered to host matches at Lansdowne Road in Dublin, but had to decline the offer as construction work was scheduled to begin on the stadium; the semifinals and final were held at Stade de Saint-Denis. The following stadiums were used. France will host the Rugby World Cup for the second time in 2023. France can be seen playing South Africa in the feature film Invictus based on the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Davies, Gerald The History of the Rugby World Cup (Sanctuary Publishing Ltd, Farr-Jones, Nick.
Story of the Rugby World Cup, Australian Post Corporation