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Amateur rugby season starts

Smaller clubs prepare for their opening games and it is a chance for expat supporters to cheer their local team

FOR many of France’s smaller rugby clubs their season starts this weekend, with the first amateur matches as well as the first league matches in Fédérale 3, the start of the climb to the Top 14.

For anyone of playing age, joining a rugby team is one of the best ways to make friends in your community but for older residents it can be harder to get into a local club – especially with the language barrier.

So, with the start of the new season – most games are on Sundays – now is the best time to get along to a local club and get to know your neighbours.

Supporters are always welcome and Fédérale 3 team US Monflanquin in northern Lot-et-Garonnne contacted Connexion to say that it had some British rugby fans already involved but would be delighted to welcome more.

Carole Whiteway said she and her husband Martin had been going to watch Monflanquin games for some time but were always surprised that other friends did not know when games were on or how to find out.

So she and friend Alison Barnacle decided to spread the word by letting newcomers know that they are assured of a warm welcome at a friendly club – and a club that is on the rise.

The first XV has this season seen an influx of 21 new players which means they have enough for a 2nd XV. It also has an Ecole de Rugby and a women’s side.

Its website at has a full list of the season’s fixtures as well as a short history of the club, which was founded in 1920 ... and will no doubt be needing help in organising its centenary in the next few years.

Find a club near you on the Fédération Française de Rugby website

Rugby cartoon - from the book Rugbymen – Tome 7 by Poupard and Béka

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