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audois

Sporting Olympique Avignon

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SOA have only had I think three seasons back in Elite 1. A lot their enthusiasm has been built by the ability to draw impressive five figure crowds to the international matchs. These are held in the cities Parc des Sports venue which is used also by the soccer team. SOA play at the nearby Stade Rufus which has an artifical pitch. Only a few crowds would pull four figures which is the norm in Elite 1.

There is a strong tradition still for the code not just in Avignon but in the surrounding areas. Its why there are lots of youngsters being developed at clubs like Carpentras, Cavillion, Salon, Entraigues et al. Of course they are building momentum with the Cup win so will be interesting how they go in future years. The CEO at Catalan Dragons Christophe Jouffret has close ties with Avignon & I'm sure would have discussed possibilities of a Super League candidature further down the line. Catalan, Toulouse & Avignon represent three seperate distinctive regions. Three potential hubs around which for me the code can regenerate itself. If ever the day arrived it could give us 6 European SL derbys - a mouth watering prospect.

This would be great for the game and, with careiful fixture planning, could allow English supporters to take in a two week holiday to France taking in three games.

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There are four of us....francophiles that adored our weekend in toulouse with fev..

We are looking at doing a jolly boys outing to watch some french rl. We may well have a gander at avignon!

Avignon is a really nice place and the World famous Pont Du Gard is nearby - www.pontdugard.fr/en‎

Nimes is a Ryanair destination and their is a large Roman Ampitheatre there.

Tons of other stuff in the area including the Camargue and Arles.

A great trip for a long weekend.

Carpentras are a friendly little club too if you get to see them.

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Ey up RS. Ive stayed in this area many many times. The pont du gard remains one of my fav sites ive ever visited and is a wonderful exhibition of roman engineering.

Even yhe graffiti on it is 2000 years old and chiselled in latin!!

Uzés is my fav small town in that area. Thrre is so much to do/see there....BUT.... with all that ... just to watch rugby there would be marvellous.

New seadon perhaps..... before it gets too cold!

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Glad to see Avignon back among the trophies again, we had a great weekend there once in the early 1990's for a France v GB match, which included one of the GB players getting seriously drunk and nearly getting arrested in McDonalds.

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what are the chances of avignon been a super league club how far off are the club been a serious posistion to compete for a place, whats the stadium like good enough for super league if not any plans for improvement ect, what potential crowds could this club get if accepted into the league. along with the dragons and hopefully toulose in super league it would be great to have 1 or 2 more full time french clubs in our secound tier if changes to our structure happens  

Audois has answered the question about stadia and potential crowds. I hinted at  where I think SOA are at in terms of Super League thinking on my posting re Patrick Entat on the first page of this thread above. Avignon does not have the population anything like Toulouse which would reduce the potential number of business investors. Having said that Avignon has been developing economically with modern light industry as well as businesses associated with what was a property growth and "desirable" area. The recession has tempered this but it still remains  sought after area. SOA are still conscious of the financial collapse of the Grand Avignon RL project and as I said previously will progress at a cautious sustainable pace. So there will be no shouting from the rooftops, just consolidation and steady progress. Audois alludes to Christophe Jouffret the CEO at Catalans. Christophe, along with brother Jean-Francois (aka Jeff) , a former SOA Manager are former SOA players, steeped in the history and culture of the club. Christophe has international negotiating experience for France and Catalans. His family still have commercial interests in the Vaucluse area so should he chose to return to his roots there would be someone with the appropriate SL management experience. Christophe's trade is accounts so another plus though this would be in keeping with the cautious approach of SOA today. Mind you in these days of risky financial ventures such an approach might be more appropriate for a SL initiative than what we have seen in recent years here. As Audois also points out there is a welter of clubs in the area and I am pleased that Carpentras are still turning out young players, though like newcomer this year Martial Romano they will eventually gravitate to SOA.

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