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Spotlight on...Rugby in France

Article posted on: January 21, 2020

Short journey times make France an ideal destination for almost any school sports tour, but if you’re travelling for rugby, then you’re in for a real treat!

How big is rugby in France?

Introduced to France in the 1870s by British residents living in the north of the country, it’s Southern France that is now the heartland of French rugby

In this part of the country, rugby is far more popular than football. It’s not just the preferred sport – to some, it’s almost a religion. There’s a newspaper, Midi Olympique, which is dedicated solely to rugby. There’s even a literal shrine to the game in Les Landes, the Chapelle de Notre-Dame-de-Rugby!

In fact, France is the world’s most populous country in which rugby has a large, dedicated following. There 1737 rugby clubs in France, and there are estimated to be around 65 million supporters here – that’s more than New Zealand, Australia, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Ireland, Scotland and Wales combined!

What about the national team?

 

France is considered a top tier nation by World Rugby, and the French national team is renowned for its ‘French flair’ – an exquisite combination of rugged physicality and inspired grace. 

Les Bleus have competed in every Rugby World Cup since its inception in 1987, although they’re still chasing their first chance to lift the Webb Ellis Cup (William Webb Ellis, coincidentally, died in the South of France and is buried in Menton). 

And, of course, France also take part in the Six Nations every year. 

And domestic rugby in France?

The top division of French rugby is the Top 14 which, as the name suggests, consists of 14 teams who battle it out every year to avoid relegation to the second division, or Rugby Pro D2. 

Toulouse is the most successful club in the competition’s history, having won the title 20 times.  

Can we visit France on a school rugby tour?

We offer a variety of school rugby tours to France, precisely because it is such an incredible destination for rugby. 

Your team can take on local teams of a similar standard in friendly fixtures in Paris and the South of France. Or we can arrange a pre-season training camp at one of the best training complexes in the country at Hagetmau in the South of France. 

And we can even arrange for your team to experience life as a professional rugby player on a pro-training rugby tour to Top 14 side Racing 92

Interested in visiting France on your next school rugby tour?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information, or to request a tailor-made quote

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