Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente: Promotion to Pro D2
Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente History and Highlights.
Soyaux Angoulême XV Charente, more popularly known as SAXV, was formed in 2010 when Sporting Club d’Angoulême and Rugby Club de Soyaux decided to merge. SAXV quickly broke into the Pro D2, but now it has fallen back to the Nationale division.
Sporting Club d’Angoulême and Rugby Club de Soyaux
1910: Sporting Club d’Angoulême
The origin of rugby union in Soyaux Angoulême dates back to 1893-1894. In the autumn of 1904, two groups of locals found the Racing Club Angoumoisin and the Stade Angoumoisin. Sporting Club d’Angoulême entered the scene a few years later in 1910.
1965: Rugby Club de Soyaux
Rugby Club de Soyaux started in 1965, but the founders called it AS Soyaux till 1972. RCDS was mostly a friends-and-family-oriented club. So, a former French champion proposed a merger, and the club officials saw it as an opportunity to have a greater impact on national levels.
Financial Troubles and Merger to Become SAXV in 2010
In 1986, Sporting Club d’Angoulême won Group B of the first division. But financial problems sent the club on a downward spiral in later years. In 2010, the club succumbed to its problems, and going for a merger seemed to be the only option to keep its legacy going to some capacity, at least.
Debut in Fédérale 3, Immediate Promotion to Fédérale 2
After the merger went through, Soyaux Angoulême enrolled in Fédérale 3. Sporting Club d’Angoulême and Rugby Club de Soyaux fans saw it as a fresh start for their respective clubs. In its first season, the club won Fédérale 2 promotion.
Climbing the Ranks
Promotion to Fédérale 1
In 2014, Soyaux Angoulême had an outstanding season in the Fédérale 2. Even outstanding sounds understated for a team that won 25 out of 25 matches! Yes, you read that right! SAXV finished the season with a 100% success rate.
First Season in Fédérale 1
After such an unbelievable season, the expectations were sky-high, and SAXV mostly delivered. In its first-ever Fédérale 1 season in 2015, SA XV finished 2nd in Pool 3 and qualified for the final phase. After eliminating US Romans Péage, SAXV fell to USO Nevers in the quarterfinals.
Promotion to Pro D2 and Controversy
In the next season, SAXV went all the way in the Fédérale 1 and secured Pro D2 rugby for the following season with a crucial win over US Bressane. But, it was not all rosy for SAXV that season.
The club was at the center of a controversy that season as Unions of Recovery For Social Security Contributions accused it of financial discrepancies over image right payments. URSSAF demanded a €500,000 fine.
Pro D2 Debut
A 36-10 defeat in the opening game of Soyaux Angoulême’s Pro-D2 season could not taint the confidence of its players. SAXV tasted victory in its very first home game in the division as the Purples saw off Vannes in front of a raging Stade Chanzy crowd.
SAXV ensured survival on matchday 29 with a 31-14 victory against Carcassonne. The Angoulême club finished 13th on the table. It held on to that position the following season again, thanks to an incredible home record of 11 wins in 15 matches.
Relegations and Promotions
The club played four successive seasons in the D2 before dropping to the National in 2021. In 2018/19, it finished 9th in Pro-D2, but SAXV finished bottom of the table two years later. However, a successful 21/22 season saw the club gaining Pro D2 promotion.
Stadium and Club Kit
The Sporting Club d’Angoulême had a white jersey with collars, a blue breastplate, and black stockings. The Rugby Club de Soyaux played in red and blue. In 2010, when the two clubs merged, they decided the new club colors would be purple and persimmon.
The club inherited Sporting Club d’Angoulême’s facilities and plays its home games in the Stade Chanzy, which used to be the home ground for Sporting Club d’Angoulême as well. SCA was Angoulême’s biggest rugby union team, and now that label has come to SAXV.