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Rugby in Corsica?

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I am interested in Rugby (both codes) in Corsica.  There are Bastia and Ajaccio in Football, however I do not know anything about Rugby in Corsica.  Is there any popular team?

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Rugby league's no longer played there but it used to be quite popular. Think there was a dispute with the rugby union federation over league structure that saw clubs switch

Edited by bowes

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Firstly with respect to Corsica, a place I love, and have visited a dozen times, you have to realise that it's population is relatively small, about 300,000, the biggest concentrations being in Bastia in the north and Ajaccio in the south. There are more Corsicans outside of France in cities like Marseille and Paris. The fact that two football clubs SCBastia and Ajaccio have performed in France's top division is amazing, as they have often punched above their weight. Indeed  Bastia were in the French FA Cup Final last season and have played in a UEFA Cup Final against Newcastle.

Football is by far the most popular sport and clubs have received generous support from local authorities. Once at Ile Rousse in the Balagne we were looking for a local lower league club for their match against Lyon reserves. The ground was mountain top, in a beautiful setting, but was a brand new modern sports complex and stadium.

Even rugby union does not have the same popularity but there are are several RU clubs at Bastia, Ajaccio, Lucciana, the Balagne, Porto Vechio and Corte. Bastia XV are the best known, and were one of the leaders of a "breakaway" from the French Rugby Union over the issue of subsidised travel  to games in mailand France. French mainland clubs were reluctant to travel to the island and subsidies were cut. So Bastia and several other clubs switched to League in 1972. The French RL Federation, under the far-sighted Gilbert Dautant nipped in offering support. The first RL match was Bastia v Cassis from Provence. Bastia were joined by other RU  clubs from Ajaccio, Corte, Bonifacio, Cervione and Biguglia. Bastia reached the semi-finals of the France Federal Championships in 1973. Unusually for France, which has never been keen on encouraging historical national and regional identities, the Federation organised a France Selection versus Corsica at the Stade Furiani in Bastia, home of the football club. Bastia player Maurius Leonelli became the first Bastias to wear the French RL jersey.

Ajaccio played for a number of years getting as high as the French second division. By then the former RU clubs had returned to their union roots, encouraged by sweeteners from the wealthy French RU. But the Ajaccio RU club continued with a Rugby League section until 1992, aswell as its main RU activities.

In 2011 Catalan Francis Cavato temporaiyl relaunched a leasure side which played intermittently.

Interestingly Batia XV , the islands top RU club was in danger of losing its ground, the ground, unusually for French sports clubs being privately owned, as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. They have now effectively moved in with the football club, changing their name in the process to SC Bastia XV. 

Edited by Cliff Spracklen
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On, peu avoir la traduction de cet intéressant article de Mr Cliff Spracklen je ne comprends pas l'anglais .







XIII Amicalement .Eric71. :rtfm:

Voici mon effort Eric!


"D'abord, quand il s'agit dela Corse, un coin que j'adore, il faut comprendre que sa population est relativement petite, a peu prêt 300.000, dont les concentrations les plus grandes sont à Bastiaau nord et Ajaccio au sud. Il y a plus des corses hors de l'île dans les grandes villes comme Marseille et Paris.

Le fait que deux clubs de foot, SC Bastia et Ajaccio ont participès  à la première division en France est incroyable. En effet Bastia est arrivé en  Finale de la Coupe de France la saison dernière et a rencontré Newcastle il y a quelques ans dans la Coupe UEFA.

Le foot reste le sport le plus fort et les clubs ont reçu maintes de subventions des pouvoirs publiques. Une fois que je souviens quand passant par Ile Rousse, nous cherchions le stade pour assister au match du club du coin, FAIR, face aux Reserves de Lyon, championnat de bas niveau.Le stade se trouve au sommet d'une montagne, dans un paysage beau, mais c'est en effet un complexe sportif et une stade moderne, pour un club effectivement du village.

Même le rugby XV n'est pas assez fort, mais il y a plusieurs clubs quinzistes-Bastia, Ajaccio, Lucciana, la Balagne, Porto Vecchio et Corte.

Bastia XV est le plus bien connu et mené un écart de la Féderation de Rugby XV. Il s'agissait des subventions et frais des voyages entre l'Hexagone et la Corse..Les clubs de l'Hexagone ne voulait plus voyager en Corse sans les subventions.La Fédé a reduit les subventions pour les frais de voyages entre la France et la Corse.

Donc la Fedération Française de Rugby 13, sous la direction du savant Gilbert Dautant, a intervenu et a offert son soutien.

Le premier match de Rugby 13 a été Bastia contre Cassis (de Provence). Autres clubs corses ont suivi Bastia, y compris Ajaccio, Corte, Bonifacio, Cervione et Biguglia. Bastia est arrivé en demi-finale du Championnat Federal en 1972.

La France encourage rarement les identités nationaux et regionaux historiques, mais la FFR X111 a organisé un match entre une Selection de France et la Corse au Stade Furiani, Bastia.

Le joueur Marius Leonelli est devenu le premier bastiais a porter le maillot de la France.

Ajaccio participait pendant plusieurs saisons, montant a a deuxieme division nationale. Mais à cette époque les clubs anciennement quinzistes sont rentrés aux racines quinzistes, encouragés par les subventions généreuses offerts par la FFR XV. Mais Ajaccio XV continuait à monter une section et équipe de X111,  à coté des ses interets de rugby XV pour quelques ans avant de la cessation de cette section.

Mais en 2011 le Catalan Francis Cavato a lancé une equipe loisir dans ce club qui jouait de temps en temps.

C'est interessantque le premier club de XV, Bastia XV, se trovait en danger de perdre son stade, au moment de son 50eme anniversaire. Le stade appartient a un interet privé, pas typique dans la France. Aujourd'hui ce club historique s'installe avec le club de foot et devient SC Bastia XV.

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As a Sardinian, it was very interesting to read the infos in this thread. Thanks. 

We here have some RU tradition, but no RL. 

Italian Federation should try to work with local RU clubs. 

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There was not the same historical tension between the two codes in Corsica that existed in mainland France, due to the Vichy prohibition. Hence no problem for Ajaccio RU having a RL section. Obviously the French RU Federation brought, or should I say "bought" the Corsican clubs back into union. After Gilbert Dautant,s tenure at the head of the French RL Federation, the French RL leadership did not appear to show the same interest in the Ile de Beaute.

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At the time of the breakaway, 1972, a new League's club was founded : "Bastia XIII".

When the corsican clubs turn back to Union, this club became "Bastia XV" !!!! With the same colours, board and players ...

What a pity !

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Dans les années 70/80 le XIII en Corse :
Equipes ayant éxisté :

Corse du sud :
-Porto Vecchio

Haute Corse :
-L'ile Rousse
-Ponte Leccia
-Santa Maria Poggio

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Working on the idea of an article about RL in Corsica. 

If anybody's god some info or historical documents, please let me know. 

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