View Poll Results: Which two clubs do you think will earn promotion to Top 14?

Voters
3. You may not vote on this poll
  • Albi

    0 0%
  • Bourgoin

    0 0%
  • Dax

    0 0%
  • Grenoble

    2 66.67%
  • La Rochelle

    1 33.33%
  • Mont-de-Marsan

    0 0%
  • Oyonnax

    1 33.33%
  • Pau

    1 33.33%
  • Other

    0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll.

Pro D2 and the lower leagues 2011/12 seasons

   
  1. #1
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    M Two One's Avatar

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    Pro D2 and the lower leagues 2011/12 seasons

    This is something I wanted to touch on several weeks ago, but never had the chance to do so with the Rugby World Cup going on. In any case, it isn't too late with the lower leagues just getting underway and Pro D2 still very early in.

    I'd like to know which two clubs you believe will be promoted to the Pro D2 this season. I've added some early favorites, but if you believe that another club has a chance, select other and list your choice(s) by name.

    I'd also like to touch on the subject of rugby fédérale a little more this season, so for those of you that are unfamiliar, I'm going to cover some interesting stories to get you up to date on the future of rugby union in the country. I know some members here are familiar with lower league French rugby and I would really enjoy their contributions as well.

    To start things off, I'm going to cover Racing Club de Strasbourg—the club has been through some major financial difficulty over the past years with their football division continually sinking like a gunned down ship. Even with the rugby division in tact and climbing, though slowly, it was thought that RC Strasbourg would scrap rugby from their ranks, and they did, unfortunately. Or is it really unfortunate after all?


    Racing Club de Strasbourg Rugby (l), new logo for Rugby Club Strasbourg (r)

    Racing Club de Strasbourg Rugby has officially become Rugby Club Strasbourg. This identity change comes at the cost of having to fight for their own survival financially, which they seem to be doing well with at the moment. As it turns out the same can't be said for Racing Club de Strasbourg, which unsurprisingly went bankrupt over the summer, forcing the football team into the fifth division of French amateur football along with the likes of Grenoble and others that have fallen on hard times.

    Rugby Club Strasbourg currently play in the third division of France, which is the top amateur division in the country known as Fédérale 1. With the league shrinking from 48 clubs to 40 due to travel cost conflicts, it actually makes for an even tighter and more competitive league.

    Currently situated in the northern pool (Groupe 1) and only four matches into the season, Strasbourg has already been far more impressive than the last where the club narrowly avoided relegation. Although they only have one win, their opening two matches were solid losing efforts against the two superior clubs in the pool, Lille and Massy. Strasbourg went on to win their third match by destroying newly promoted Boulogne-Billancourt and narrowly lost to a fairly equal club in Mâcon.

    Their best player is scrum half Alexandre Ducrozet. At 24-years-old, he's quite a consistent kicker and will be relied upon heavily to get his club through matches. Outside center Alexandre Bonjean and wingers Guillaume Kriegel and Czech international Václav Jursík will also become important parts of their offense if they want to survive in a pool that is becoming stronger each season. Kriegel can support Ducrozet when it comes to kicking, but his ability is only equal to some of the best amateurs available, unlike the scrum half who could easily kick for a club in Pro D2 or better.

    With an annual spending budget of a little over 1 € million, Strasbourg will be able to stabilize themselves within the league and possibly challenge for promotion within four or five years. Along with Lille, they are northern France's greatest hopes for quality rugby (outside of Paris) in the professional ranks down the road.
    Last edited by M Two One; 05-11-11 at 04:18 PM.
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

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  3. #2
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    psychic duck's Avatar

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    just to let people know

    Grenoble have officially been promoted to the Top 14 for next season

    they beat La Rochelle with a bonus point and now have an unbeatable lead at the top of Pro D2 with three games still to play, they now have a head start in trying to secure signings to strengthen their side for the 2012/13 Top 14

    here is the current Pro D2 table

    1. Grenoble 100
    2. Dax 79
    3. La Rochelle 77
    4. Pau 73
    5. Carcassonne 68

    6. Mont-de-Marsan 66
    7. Albi 66
    8. Auch 59
    9. Aix-en-Provence 58
    10. Oyonnax 55
    11. Aurillac 52
    12. Tarbes 52
    13. Bourgoin 50
    14. Narbonne 47
    15. Béziers 37
    16. Périgueux 35

    the top side goes up automatically, teams 2-5 play in the playoffs, bottom two relegated

    Grenoble going up is confirmed, and the bottom two look to be pretty certain to be the ones relegated

  4. #3
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    I´d say La Rochelle will be joining Grenoble in the Top 14.

  5. #4
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    Section Paloise will be facing SMR for the second promotion spot next weekend.

    I did pick Pau to move up through the promotion playoff with Grenoble, but I didn't think they would be facing SMR at this point. That being said, I didn't think Dax would have such a great season and they made the playoff. Looking at both candidates, Pau would have an easier time staying up in the Top 14 next season when considering their finances and talented youth.

    In Fédérale 1 news, Lille pulled off an incredible upset over Tyrosse and will be moving on to the semi-finals to face a strong Massy side. Interestingly, both clubs are from the north of France. Colomiers will look for a quick push back into the professional ranks when they face off against a resurgent Valence d'Agen in the other match. I had Colomiers winning the title and I still believe they will earn it.

    Here are the quarter-final match ups in the Fédérale 2 promotion playoff. Clubs I've selected to win each match are bold.

    Chalon-sur-Saône v Niort

    Vienne v Annecy

    Agde v Rodez

    Bagnères v Lombez Samatan
    Last edited by M Two One; 20-05-12 at 07:16 PM.
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychic duck View Post
    just to let people know

    Grenoble have officially been promoted to the Top 14 for next season

    they beat La Rochelle with a bonus point and now have an unbeatable lead at the top of Pro D2 with three games still to play, they now have a head start in trying to secure signings to strengthen their side for the 2012/13 Top 14

    here is the current Pro D2 table

    1. Grenoble 100
    2. Dax 79
    3. La Rochelle 77
    4. Pau 73
    5. Carcassonne 68

    6. Mont-de-Marsan 66
    7. Albi 66
    8. Auch 59
    9. Aix-en-Provence 58
    10. Oyonnax 55
    11. Aurillac 52
    12. Tarbes 52
    13. Bourgoin 50
    14. Narbonne 47
    15. Béziers 37
    16. Périgueux 35

    the top side goes up automatically, teams 2-5 play in the playoffs, bottom two relegated

    Grenoble going up is confirmed, and the bottom two look to be pretty certain to be the ones relegated
    Pau v Mont de Marsan Final then.......................

  7. #6
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    Mon Grenoble , Aside from Aix they'd be the closest to my grandparents
    ss

  8. #7
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    Lower league French rugby hasn't attracted much interest outside of the country, but the struggle and brutality in the league and passion of the players cannot be ignored. I'd like to share these amazing photos taken by photographer Patrick Le Galloudec of Vannes during a match from their 2011/12 campaign. The club had another solid regular season in Fédérale 1, but after qualifying for the promotion playoff they were upset in the first round by Nevers.

    With only four clubs left and only two spots available to move up to Pro D2, the struggle is nearly over for all 40 clubs in this underrated competition.









    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  9. #8
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    Class photos M Two One. It's great to see some of the lower tier sides get some recognition.

  10. #9
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    I'm loving the bottom photo with the Gnarled looking bloke in the scrumhat..
    ss

  11. #10
    Magnave Lundour

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    I love a bit of lower-league rugby in France.
    Through Uni the only chance I've got to go to Perpignan is during the summer holidays when Union isn't on (though the League is pretty brutal) - now I've finished I'm looking to get out there during the season and catch some matches (I'll tell the Missus that we're going to Carcassonne to see the castle and then be like "Oh hey, is that a rugby match on over there? Maybe I'll just go and see if it is....Bye!")

  12. #11
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    Those would be my intentions as well, though Carcassonne may deter anyone from leaving the sights for a rugby match. lol
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  13. #12
    Hulkamania Running Wild

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    Great photos. Don't see such quality of images around that often.

    Follow TRF on Twitter and Facebook





  14. #13
    Magnave Lundour

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    Quote Originally Posted by M Two One View Post
    Those would be my intentions as well, though Carcassonne may deter anyone from leaving the sights for a rugby match. lol
    I've been there a load of times in my years (my Mum's a history buff so I've been to loads of castles and the like in the South-East) so I'll manage

  15. #14
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    Anyone been in Sisteron passed it every year 4 times a year..and have never been in the town...and every year I say to myself ..**** yeah I want to be in that fortress..


    ss

  16. #15
    Magnave Lundour

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    I haven't, but I wikipediad it to see where it was in France and it's bad ass.

  17. #16
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    It's unbelievable , look at the fortress on the cliff face , it's quality.
    ss

  18. #17
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    That's the great thing about France, go to any small town (particularly in the south) on a weekend and you'll find a rugby match of some significance going on to go along with beautiful backdrops.
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  19. #18
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    All rugby clubs especially village rugby always had the ground positioned so the church bells could be heard from the stadium, this the old timers say "is where it all started in France especially in the South West."

  20. #19
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    Fédérale 1 has managed to get a 4 year TV deal with Eurosport, for 10 matches a year, as well as a match per weekend in Pro D2.

    Seems quite unimaginable that in the UK the English third division would ever get a look in for a TV deal, the Championship barely gets more matches on TV that, so can anybody tell me how a third division league can get a TV contract

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychic duck View Post
    so can anybody tell me how a third division league can get a TV contract
    Dunno... bribes?

  22. #21
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    Fédérale 1 has managed to get a 4 year TV deal with Eurosport, for 10 matches a year, as well as a match per weekend in Pro D2.

    Seems quite unimaginable that in the UK the English third division would ever get a look in for a TV deal, the Championship barely gets more matches on TV that, so can anybody tell me how a third division league can get a TV contract
    There's a much bigger audience over there for rugby. Ever see the crowds for Pro D2 games? There about as big as your average Premiership game. The Fédérale 1 probably gets crowds similar to the Championship over there.

    Plus the
    Fédérale 1 isn't promoted by the semi-competent FFR not the RFU.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychic duck View Post
    Fédérale 1 has managed to get a 4 year TV deal with Eurosport, for 10 matches a year, as well as a match per weekend in Pro D2.

    Seems quite unimaginable that in the UK the English third division would ever get a look in for a TV deal, the Championship barely gets more matches on TV that, so can anybody tell me how a third division league can get a TV contract
    Rugby Fédérale and the lower leagues in general are very popular and I suppose Eurosport seen a great opportunity.
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  24. #23
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    Some important news coming from French rugby that fans should take note of—

    First, Béziers has been given a reprieve as Bourgoin were found to be financially unable to remain in professional rugby and were subsequently relegated to Fédérale 1 instead. This comes as no shock, though it was thought that Brive would also suffer the same fate. With the financial reports in, several other clubs have also been tossed around throughout the French leagues.

    While I don't have time to report every little detail I will mention that this includes clubs from bigger cities such as Stade Phocéen, Nîmes and Nice, all of which were relegated down to Fédérale 3. Also, Saint-Sulpice was the only club of eight to be rejected an opportunity to play in Fédérale 1 after earning a spot through the promotion playoffs. The club will be replaced by Saint-Jean d'Angely.

    You can view the official pools for Fédérale 2 and 3 in pdf form by following the links below. Fédérale 1 pools are already available at the Rugby Federal website.

    Fédérale 2

    Fédérale 3
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  25. #24
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    The above is not quite true as Bourgoin have decided to apeal so there is no decision (the appeal is for the 15th Aug.) as yet but if they win their appeal the 2nd club to be relegated was Beziers so they will go down into Fed I if Bourgoin stay up in Pro D2.
    There are very strict rules on finance in France and all is controlled by a givernment body the bugets have to be in place by the beginning of the season and no deficts are allowed. This is why as mentioned above teams hoping to move forward in the leagues have been reprimanded and have found themselves in the lower divisions!!!!'

  26. #25
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    That would be the DNACG and all things considered, I doubt Bourgoin will win their appeal. The DNACG is extremely strict. Also, the FFR has already gone ahead with official releases regarding the 2012-13 campaigns with one of the last changes being Vichy being allowed to stay in Fédérale 2 so long as they play out of their zone. Stade Phocéen and others have also appealed and were subsequently turned down without as much as a sniff at what they proposed. In some ways this is a shame, but I can understand the idea that you shouldn't be playing in a league that you can't afford to take part in.
    .. a mari usque ad mare ..

  27. #26
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    An old-school French rugby fight between Béziers and Carcassonne in Pro D2 in December.