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w w w . a s m o n a c o r u g b y . c o m

The newsletter of

AS Monaco Rugby

n°05 june 2014 Young AS Monaco Rugby players

photo : Valentina De Gaspari

INTERVIEW WITH YANNICK JAUZION Ambassador for the AS Monaco Rugby tournament. (Interview conducted by Jean-Louis Laffitte). Yannick Jauzion won 73 caps for France, winning 2 Grand Slams and participating in 2 World Cup tournaments. Yannick won three French championships and three European championships with Stade Toulousain and was elected the World’s best centre for 2005 by the IRB. photo : Bernard GARCIA

AS Monaco Rugby attatches great importance to its Rugby School. What are your memories of your first years playing rugby? Coming from the Tarn region, I started with the SC Graulhet club, where I played from the age of 7 until I was 21. Memories from those first years mainly relate to travelling to away games more than the matches themselves. In particular we travelled as far as Hyères and Seyssins (outskirts of Grenoble) and the atmosphere in the bus was the main attraction for us – we sang (of course) and we got up to all kinds of tricks, but always in a good spirit. Moreover, I often hear that the kids today are more difficult to control than we were…

Association Sportive de Monaco Section Rugby Stade Louis II MC 98000 Principauté de Monaco tél. +377 92 05 40 60 contact@monacorugby.com

You ended your brilliant playing career last year. What links have you kept with the rugby world? I am just one of the crowd. I go to see several matches at Toulouse, and I sometimes take part in indoor football sessions organised by the Stade’s coaching staff. Every month, with a few friends (retired or still playing), we get together for a dinner: a regular event that we have decided to maintain to avoid losing contact. I am also in touch with the SC Graulhet coaches and have participated in 2 sessions this season. For now this level of involvement suits me: I enjoy what I do while I do not wish to commit to a full season, which would be like being a player again. I am also the ambassador of a sports centre in Graulhet. To finish, what advice would you give to our young rugby players? I accepted AS Monaco Rugby’s invitation with great pleasure, for the same reasons that take me from time to time to Graulhet: I expect to teach rugby sooner or later because I like to work with youngsters. As international players we can effectively pass on messages to the kids: when I was young, players from the French national team visited the clubs at the request of the FFR. Now it is my turn and I would simply advise the ASM youngsters to enjoy playing this game which will help them to develop and flourish. They should pay special attention to their relationships with others, and being part of a team, which are the true values of rugby. And also that they strive to be competitive on the field, with the ambition of one day emulating the success of ASM Football…

Informations of publication contact : Pierre Magnes pmagnes@asmonacorugby.com appropriations photographs: Valentina De Gaspari - www.valentinadegaspari.com


A BIT OF HISTORY In the AS Monaco Omnisport newsletter of 1968 we found a record of the first steps of the Club’s Rugby Section, which was created on 21 September 1964 and for which the first Committee was formed on 19 November. Mr Bruschini was the first President of this new section of AS Monaco, where the first players had to supply their own kit and rent their pitch ! Their first match was played on 28 March 1965, and the following season the team joined the league and finished 3rd out of 10 clubs. The first home game was not authorised until 4 December 1966, with the first opportunity and approval to play at the Stade Louis II on 14 May 1967, when the AS Monaco Rugby team secured a brilliant win against an Italian selection from Turin, thus planting the roots for the future of rugby in the Principality. The relevant article in the newsletter of AS Monaco Omnisport concludes as follows: “The Rugby team is born; may it grow, flourish and reach adulthood. Perseverance pays.” Many thanks to the pioneers of rugby in the Principality, featured in this photo from 1968

AS MONACO RUGBY PLAYS ITS OWN “CRUNCH” At the end of April “Le Crunch” was scheduled for our seniors… 45 tourists from Old Tiffinians (www.otrfc.com) arrived on the Côte d’Azur for their annual end of season tour, ready to have a good time and to end their stay with a “Friendly” against our seniors. After attending the RCT vs Stade Français match together at Nice’s Riviera Allianz stadium on the Saturday, the ASM and London based teams met again at Blausasc on a scorching sunny Sunday for our own Crunch match. Evenly matched, the 2 teams played out an exciting 36 all draw (6 tries each). Our Club President, a spectator for the first half, could not resist putting on his kit and appearing for the second half – at least his 8th testimonial match – but who’s counting ! Afterwards everyone enjoyed a giant paella prepared by fireman turned chef Lionel, and a few drinks in the sun. We were of course invited for a re-match across the Channel next year – subject to players finding sufficient funding….

« R ugby w i ll alw ays b e th e


2013-2014 SEASON – SENIOR TEAM

At the beginning of the 2013/14 season we could be optimistic… a group crowned with a regional title, motivation levels high, an early start with our fitness coach, a very satisfactory pre-season camp at Gruissan…. but sport isn’t as simple as that, as the first home match was to remind us. Indeed, beaten 11-0 at home by Salon de Provence, relegated from the division above last season (like 3 other clubs – due to restructuring of leagues), AS Monaco couldn’t have had a worse start to this season, which would prove to be full of disillusion and drama. Many difficulties appeared as the weekends came and went, highlighting recent changes in the Club. Without seeking excuses, the team aligned 8 narrow defeats (each time earning the defensive bonus point) and 2 draws in the first half of the season, although certain events help explain why this happened. A late change in head coach, the loss of several players, retirement of other key players, new recruits still finding their way, young players not quite ready, senior players not taking enough leadership, naïve management… and a complete absence of good luck which can make or break a season. Our senior teams have never known such a series of bad luck (posts hit, bad bounces, soft tries conceded, last 5 minute losses), and never has a team earned so many defensive bonus points (16 in total including 8 defeats of less than 3 points).

But how could a team with such individual talent have failed so often… Humility, hard work, and a strong desire to collectively avoid relegation now drove the players forward – concentrated, focused, and energised to save the team. Each match was now a real combat, particularly the epic match at Le Beausset (future winner of our league) where we only lost by 1 point, to a last minute conversion from the touchline. Lady luck abandoned AS Monaco this year, but the group was ultimately not strong enough to overcome such a scenario. Nevertheless the tears have now dried and everyone knows what he needs to do to progress and grow stronger. Nobody is hiding from reality behind the bad luck encountered this year. The 2013/14 results on the field are evidently mediocre, but it is at times like this, when on the outside things look dark, that we see the inner strength of the individuals, and of the Club. Now it’s time for the summer tours – from England to Italy and even Brazil, the seniors will have the chance to measure up to players from other countries. A few victories to aim for but especially many great memories to be added to the history of this Club which has yet to write its best chapters. Come on AS Monaco Rugby !! Thomas RIQUET

The group was at breaking point after a bitter defeat against the league’s bottom team….. But despite this, in the middle of winter, through hard work and a refusal to abandon ship, a real team came to the fore. Previously unsaid words were spoken, personalities developed, leaders took their responsibilities, and the coaches guided the group to a clear victory 22-8 at home against traditional rivals Sanary from the Var. A second impressive victory followed the weekend after on the outskirts of Toulon against the league leaders (20-3).

ar t of en j o y a b l e y o ut h »

André Alvarez


w w w . a s m o n a c o r u g b y . c o m

CLUB HOUSE In order to continue building the Club and its values, the clubhouse at Blausasc was an important step forward and keenly awaited by players and supporters alike. Thanks to the former classroom of nearby commune l’Escarene, and the commitment of our Vice Presidents Jeremy Swales and Thomas Rique, the portacabin of 45 m2 was first (with difficulty) moved to the side of the pitch and then reconfigured into a bar and lounge area. Further improvement works will be carried out during the summer, in particular the exterior and the green-friendly terrace made from recycled pallets. These facilities and their progressive improvement reflect the Club’s development and can be enjoyed by everyone. Thank you to all the people who participated in the project.

RUGBY SCHOOL

AS MONACO THANKS ITS PARTNERS OF 2013/20134 SEASON Institutional partners

Official partner

Gold partner

Ville de Blausasc

Supplier Partners

Donors DONALD MANASSE LAW OFFICE fournisseur site web

Association Sportive de Monaco Section Rugby Stade Louis II MC 98000 Principauté de Monaco tél. +377 92 05 40 60 contact@monacorugby.com

Layout and graphic design: ABRèGe – Adrien Revel 2014 all rights reserved www.abrege.net


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