Blagnac Rugby: Club Players, Stadium, and History
Blagnac Rugby History and Highlights.
Blagnac Rugby‘s story goes back as far as 1922. Since the turn of the century, rugby has been popular in the southwestern region of France. In Blagnac, young men used to play rugby for amusement, but it was not an organized sporting activity. That changed when the Blagnac Sporting Club was founded.
The Early Years
Proud to wear the colors red and blue, the first rugby players of Blagnac won the first piece of silverware in the history of the club in 1937. They were then crowned with the title of champion of the Pyrenees of iii series, a first success that would launch the long line of trophies won by the club throughout its history.
World War II
This progress came to a brutal halt with the war that would rage from 1939 to 1945. From then on, several years would be passed over in silence, the same silence that would accompany the tragic loss of some members of the team. Some players returned to play for the club after the war, but not everyone was fortunate enough to do so.
1949-60: Building an Identity
Parting Ways With the Football Club
In 1949, the Blagnac rugby team got its first dedicated rugby field. Previously, the rugby players had to share a field with the club’s football side. In its early years, the Blagnac Rugby team was overshadowed by the club’s football section; a field of its own was indeed a gamechanger for the rugby team.
1952: Flooding Destroys Infrastructure
But, another setback was waiting right around the corner. A terrible flood in 1952 destroyed the club’s infrastructure, so the Red and Blues had to start from scratch again. It took five years for the club to restore its facilities to operational levels. However, the club did not let all those adversities affect their performance on the pitch.
1955: Challenge de Toulouse Title
In the 54/55 season, the Blagnacais won the Challenge de Toulouse. Spartan-like training on a vacant lot behind a cafe hardened the team’s mentality and instilled an unmatchable warrior instinct in the players. Under Jean Gabbare, Blagnac was playing some praiseworthy brand of rugby back then.
The Climb to First Division
1960: Promotion to Third Division
By 1960, Blagnac Rugby was playing in the French third division. The club had won the fourth division title, got a new playing ground in 1957, and also a junior squad. Blagnac Rugby emerged as a rugby club with excellent foundations. With the promotion to the third division, the southwestern side had stepped into the big leagues.
All this good mood was somewhat tainted by the departure of Ernest Argelès in 1972, who left the presidency of the club after 24 years of good and loyal service. Argelès was a visionary who envisioned the structure of the club and formulated the blueprint to ensure the club’s continuous push to go forward. His legacy leaves on to this day.
1979: Second Division Promotion
The players honored his departure the following year by winning the Gaussens Challenge, indicating Argelès had left the club in a good shape. In 1979, Blagnac earned second division promotion. It marked the beginning of a quest that would lead the Red and Blues 10 years later to the 1st division. The gates of elites would finally open for Blagnac!
Crushing everything in their paths, the men of Carles and Guiter reached the final of the championship in 1983. They led the club to its first major national title against Lyon with a dominating 38 to 3 win. It remains the greatest moment in the club’s history till now. Blagnac Rugby, a club, mostly seen as a community club, had conquered the French second division!
1983: Promotion to First Division
With the 1983 second division win, Blagnac Rugby played Group B first division rugby for a few years before making the jump to Group A in 1989. That season, the club finished second in its pool behind CA Brive and qualified for its first-ever Group A campaign. Star fly-half Christophe Deylaud was the key man for Blagnac Rugby in securing promotion.
After two seasons in Group A, the club returned to Group B in 1991. After four seasons as a midtable team in Group B, Blagnac was on the verge of a Group A return in 1995. But, it did not happen in the end, as FFR punished the club for administrative irregularities.
Blagnac remained in the first division Groupe B for another 12 years after it was disciplined by the FFR for administrative irregularities before it ended up in Pro D2 for one year in 2007.
Demotion to Fédérale 2
At the end of that season, the club suffered another regulatory punishment and got demoted to Fédérale 2. At the dawn of the 2015-2016 season, the club was reorganized: a professional structure was created, under the name of Blagnac rugby, while the amateur association retained the former name of the club, Blagnac Sporting Club Rugby.
Rebuilding Lost Form
In the years since its Fédérale 2 relegation, Blagnac Rugby has managed to climb two divisions into the Nationale competition, which, as of 2022, was the third division in the French rugby system. Recently, it finished 8th in the recently concluded 2021/22 Nationale Championnat Fédéral season.
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