RC Massy Essonne: Updates on Pro D2 Promotion
RC Massy Essonne highlights and History.
RC Massy Essonne is one of the French rugby clubs which will make the jump to Pro D2 from the Nationale division in the 22/23 season. The reigning National champions will be hoping to draw inspiration from their recent success and turn heads in the French second tier next season.
Early Years: Rugby Club Massicois
Born from a split of the MAS Omnisports club in May 1971, the Rugby Club Massicois quickly reached the second division in 1978. In 1984, the club reached the playoffs for first division promotion, but it lost against RC Orléans.
After separation from MAS, the RCM abandoned the yellow and blue colors to adopt the blue and black of the Massy’s coat of arms. After getting relegated from the second tier in 1992, the club won the third division in 1998 and went back to the upper echelon of French rugby.
But, the club fell back to lower tiers again.
A New Direction and Name Change
In 2003, the club administration formulated a long-term plan to make the club more successful, boost its commercial appeal, and expand its fanbase.
The first step it took as part of its new policy was to acquire legal status to attract sponsors and partners. The club set a target to return to the second division within four years.
Club Rename to RC Massy Essonne
At this time, the club also chose to change its name to RC Massy Essonne.
Academy: Investment in the Future
The club has focused on its academy to produce new talents. Cameron Woki, Jimmy Marlu, Arnaud Marchois, Grégory Lamboley, Jérémy Hierso, Merab Kvirikashvili, Romain Millo-Chluski, Sekou Macalou, Merab Kvirikashvili, Julien Delbouis, Mike Tadjer, Gabriel N’Gandebe, and Yacouba Camara are some of the best players coming out of the RC Massy academy.
The 2010s: In and Out of Pro D2
During the 2011-2012 season of Fédérale 1, Massy made it to the final, at the expense of one of the promotion favorites, Lille MR, but lost to Colomiers. But, that did not prevent RCM from qualifying for the Pro D2 as it progressed through the playoffs.
RC Massy’s return to the second division was far from memorable as it was confirmed by matchday 28 that the Black and Blues would not continue in the division next season. All RC Massy fans could have hoped at that point is that their team would ace the Fédérale 1 in the 2013/14 season.
And that actually happened! The club made it to the playoffs, and once again, it grabbed the chance to restore its Pro-D2 status. But, another dismal season was awaiting RCM in the Pro-D2 as it finished behind all other clubs.
2017-2019: Two Years in Pro D2
In 2017, RCM became the champion of France in Fédérale 1 Elite Pool and went up to Pro D2. The club avoided dropping from Pro-D2 the following year by finishing twelfth before falling back to Fédérale 1 in 2019.
The Modern Era
Departure of Morgan Champagne
In the 2020-2021 season, RCM joined the new National France championship and finished in fifth place with 57 points. The departure of coach Morgan Champagne during the off-season dealt a huge blow to the club’s future plans.
Morgan Champagne had been a mainstay at RCM since 2007. He was responsible for developing many players who represent Pro-D2 and Top 14 teams now. Unsurprisingly, he would be a huge miss for RCM going forward.
Julien Maréchal Leads Return to Pro D2
But life goes on. Julien Maréchal took the reins and built on the foundation Champagne had left behind. Maréchal, who was an RC Massy player himself, rose up to the challenge and gave the fans something special to celebrate.
In 2022, Massy eliminated Albi in the National semifinals (40-10). In the final, Massy beat Soyaux-Angoulême (38-10) and became the National champion for the first time. It also booked the club a spot for the 2022/23 Pro-D2 season.