Pro D2 and the lower leagues 2011/12 seasons

Discussion in 'Top 14 & Rugby Pro D2' started by M Two One, Nov 4, 2011.

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Which two clubs do you think will earn promotion to Top 14?

Poll closed Jan 3, 2012.
  1. Albi

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Bourgoin

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Dax

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Grenoble

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  5. La Rochelle

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  6. Mont-de-Marsan

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Oyonnax

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  8. Pau

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  9. Other

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. M Two One

    M Two One Tra la la la

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    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?

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    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: Nov 5, 2011
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  3. psychic duck

    psychic duck Senior Member

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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. Melhor Time

    Melhor Time Senior Member

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    I´d say La Rochelle will be joining Grenoble in the Top 14.
     
  5. M Two One

    M Two One Tra la la la

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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: May 20, 2012
  6. Tony Manx

    Tony Manx TRF Season Ticket Holder

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    Pau v Mont de Marsan Final then.......................
     
  7. lucky number 7

    lucky number 7 Senior Member

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    Mon Grenoble , Aside from Aix they'd be the closest to my grandparents
     
  8. M Two One

    M Two One Tra la la la

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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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. LittleGuy

    LittleGuy Senior Member

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    Class photos M Two One. It's great to see some of the lower tier sides get some recognition.
     
  10. lucky number 7

    lucky number 7 Senior Member

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    I'm loving the bottom photo with the Gnarled looking bloke in the scrumhat..
     
  11. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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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. M Two One

    M Two One Tra la la la

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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
     
  13. TRF_Cymro

    TRF_Cymro Cymro The White

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

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    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 :p
     
  15. lucky number 7

    lucky number 7 Senior Member

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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..


    [​IMG]
     
  16. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    I haven't, but I wikipediad it to see where it was in France and it's bad ass.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. lucky number 7

    lucky number 7 Senior Member

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    It's unbelievable , look at the fortress on the cliff face , it's quality.
     
  18. M Two One

    M Two One Tra la la la

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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.
     
  19. gaston le gaff

    gaston le gaff Senior Member

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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. psychic duck

    psychic duck Senior Member

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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. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Dunno... bribes?
     
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