RC Vannes: First Brittany Club to Make Pro D2
RC Vannes History and Highlights.
Rugby Club Vannes are a French rugby union team who, up until 2015, had played competitively in France’s third division Fédérale 1. However, the team from RC Vannes were promoted in the 2014-15 season, 65 years after being formed, and found themselves in Pro D2, the second tier of France’s professional divisions.
Led by President Olivier Cloarec, Head Coach Jean-Noel Spitzer and Captain Clement Payen, RC Vannes will be hoping their stay in Pro D2 will be a lengthy one and could possibly result in promotion to Top 14.
Founding, Kit Colors, and Stadium
Founded in 1950, the team chose to wear a blue and white kit that matched their crest, and play their home games at the Stade de la Rabine, in front of a capacity crowd of 9,500.
While success over the years hasn’t been as prominent as some teams in the top leagues and progress has been slow, RC Vannes have a proud reputation for doing things the right way, which is evidenced in the philosophy they work by.
The team follow the respectful values that were set up by the club and respected at all levels, right through to their youth teams and the rugby school they run. Those values are: Humility, Solidarity, Work, Discipline, and Pleasure.
A Structure for Success
Since 2002, the club have been structured sportingly and administratively so they could succeed on the pitch. The aim of the club was to progress through the divisions while recruiting as many local players as they could.
The team had a mixed time in the early years, working through the regional leagues while handling the loss of players through wartime.
2006: Arrival in Fédérale 1
It took until 2006 for RC Vannes to reach Fédérale 1, the third division in the rugby tier system in France, known as the elite of amateur rugby. This was a monumental moment in the history of the club.
2016: Promotion to Pro D2
In 2015, the club announced their desire to play professional rugby in Pro D2, and set out to become the first Breton club to do so in many years.
It took just one season for them to fulfil their ambitions.
In 2016, Vannes won their Fédérale 1 promotion semi-final against RC Massy by an aggregate score of 57-44. This meant the club would enter Pro D2, the second-highest professional rugby league in France for the very first time. For a club on such a small budget, it was a feat that was impressive and meant they gained admirers from all over France.
Investing in the Youth
Like most clubs in France, RC Vannes offers a rugby school for youngsters as a way of recruiting the next generational talent to represent them.
The school was created during the 1970s, during the time Jean Louis Bouche was President. He had a vision of the school being a pillar of the club’s long-term project, using the words “Build, Develop, and Sustain.” The school was awarded three stars, the highest level possible, and is the result of continuous improvement in the program over the years.
Today the school is home to over 250 students, aged from 6 to 14, and provides them with a framework for developing and excelling themselves as rugby players and as people.
The team will be hoping as time goes on, more players from the school will turn out for the team and their faith in the youth system and school will be showcased in performances and results.