Stade Aurillacois: New Logo, Fresh Brand
Stade Aurillacois History and Highlights.
Stade Aurillacois Cantal Auvergne, better known as Stade Aurillacois, is a club with military roots. It has repeatedly shown its soldier-like fighting mentality to return to the highest levels of French rugby.
It has recently been a regular in Pro D2 in recent years, having missed out on a spot in the division only once since 2001.
Founding and Early Years
Members of the 139th Infantry Regiment and the Francs-joueurs of the Lycée Emile Duclaux founded the club in 1904. Unfortunately, the team lost a big part of its squad during World War I. So, they had to go through a great rebuilding phase in the post-war period.
1930s: Entrance to First Division
In 1932, the club qualified for the French second tier. Then, in 1933, it had an excellent campaign that granted it promotion to the Elite division. However, it had a tougher start to life there and barely held on to its top-flight status.
Following promotion to the first division, Stade Aurillacois could not escape relegation, and found itself back in the second division the next season. However, the Cantal outfit got a chance for first division redemption in 1937 when it got the better of Oloron in the playoffs.
Upon its Elite division return in 1938, it performed far better than its first two campaigns. They progressed to the Round-of-16 before Aviron Bayonnais eliminated it.
Stade Aurillacois enjoyed its best spell in the post-World War II years. Till 1986, Aurillacois missed only two Elite division campaigns. The first in 1948, and the second in 1953. However, Stade Aurillacois’ top-flight exile was never longer than one season on both occasions.
The 1980s: The Golden Years Come to a Close
Stade Aurillacois fans see the ‘80s as the club’s golden period. Between 1980 and 1985, Stade Aurillacois made four knock-out stage appearances in the French league. In 1986, it qualified for the Coupe de France final. Unfortunately, it was AS Béziers who had the last laugh.
That was not the only heartbreak Stade Aurillacois fans had to endure that year. The club suffered relegation for the first time in 38 years. By 1990, the club had been relegated to first division group B.
Stade Aurillacois star Thierry Peuchlestrade, his brother Yann and Claude Lagarde made headlines for all the wrong reasons in 1990. The Stade Aurillacois trio was penalized by the French Rugby Federation for featuring in famous French musician Renaud’s controversial song Où c’est que j’ai mis mon flingue? (Where have I put my gun?).
The Fight for Promotion
In 1992, Stade Aurillacois came close to an A2 return. But, Toulon got the better of the Red and Blues in the playoffs.
It finally got the ticket out of Group B in 1996, although it missed out on the Group B title after Stade Français beat it to glory with a fantastic 23-16 win at Stade Marcel-Michelin.
In the next two years, the team played in the A2 division and reached the knockout stages of the Coupe de France. At the end of the 1997/98 season, It secured a spot in the 24-team Elite division, ending its 12-year absence from the division.
1999-2001: The Fight to Remain in the Elite
In 1999, Stade Aurillacois won Coupe André-Moga, beating Racing Club de France 36-21 in the final. The triumph also made Stade Aurillacois eligible for the European Shield.
The following season was a disappointing one, and Stade Aurillacois almost got relegated from the Elite division. However, facing financial difficulties, RC Toulon was demoted instead.
Unfortunately, the club couldn’t hold off relegation and, in 2001, was relegated to the second division Pro D2 competition.
From Pro D2 Vice-Champion to Fédérale 1 Relegation
From 2001 to 2006, they played in the Pro D2. In 2005, it and was crowned vice-champion of France after making it to the final against Section Paloise.
However, in 2007, it was again relegated to the third division, Fédérale 1. However, it would only spend one season here before making a comeback.
In the 2015/16 season, Stade Aurellicois reached the final of the Pro D2 competition, but a defeat to Stade Montois denied it the trophy and, more importantly, entry to the Top 14.
Stade Aurellicois changed its logo in 2018 to resemble the shield shape of the original Stade Aurellicois logo. But, the club stuck to its modern color combination of red, blue, and white instead of returning to the yellow, orange, and blue of the first Stade Aurrelicois logo.