Racing 92 celebrates its one hundred and fortieth anniversary, a glance again at 5 key moments in Ile-de-France historical past

This Sunday at 5 p.m., the Ile-de-France membership receives Clermont as a part of the eleventh day of Prime 14. The chance to formally rejoice its one hundred and fortieth anniversary.

1892: perpetually the primary

If the primary rugby membership in France was created in Le Havre in 1872, Racing – which was known as Racing Membership on the time – grew to become France’s first champion membership in 1892, profitable the ultimate towards … the Stade Français Paris Rugby (4-3). The next season, the Parisian neighbor and rival will take his revenge. It ought to be famous that, till 1898, the competitors will solely pit the Parisian groups towards one another. A person alone symbolizes this wonderful first of the Ile-de-France membership: Frantz Reichel. After discovering rugby in 1888, he would develop into a key determine in rugby in France.

Participant, achieved sportsman (he participated within the 1894 Olympic Video games over 110 m hurdles), supervisor (creation of quite a few sports activities federations, participated within the creation of the French Nationwide Olympic Committee) but additionally a journalist for Le Figaro. He’ll notably cowl the primary match between the Blues and the All Blacks in 1906. A youth class (juniors over 19) bears his identify. After its first coronation in 1892, Racing received two different titles in 1900 and 1902.

1990: the breath of contemporary air of “Showbizz”

Within the early 90s, carried by a golden era (Mesnel, Blanc, Cabannes, Serrière…), the Racing Membership de France dusted off the standard and critical picture of rugby in France. The membership, which performs on the Yves-du-Manoir stadium in Colombes, provides an alert and fiery recreation, properly supported by a tough and fierce pack. However it’s for these unforgettable pranks that the Racingmen are additionally talked about: they don’t hesitate to play with berets towards the Basques of Bayonne, to stay a pink fish within the again on April 1st or to color themselves the face in black to protest towards the racist insults of which considered one of them was the sufferer.

Wanting again, Franck Mesnel remembers this blessed interval, with out wanting to check with the present period: “We now have seen too many aged individuals round us embittered, who stored telling us that it was higher earlier than. We swore by no means to fireside previous idiots!” After a defeat within the closing towards Toulon in 1987 (12-15), Racing received the fourth title in its historical past by dominating Agen, after additional time, in 1990 (22-12).

2010: resounding return to the highest flight

Thus far, Racing 92 stays the one promoted membership to have performed within the closing levels of the Prime 14 upon its return to the highest flight. After the fantastic decade of “Showbiz”, the shift to professionalism has finished harm. The Ile-de-France membership left the elite twice (1996, 2000) and monetary survival went by way of the merger with the US Metro in 2001. “They are saying that nice groups by no means die, that is not true. We noticed it with Béziers or Lourdes. These groups died within the combat for finance”, underlines Philippe Guillard, former whimsical three-quarters of the membership who grew to become a profitable director. The founding father of the actual property group Foncia, Jacky Lorenzetti – seen within the stands of the Yves-du-Manoir stadium – was then approached by Franck Mesnel and Eric Blanc who had lengthy held the membership at arm’s size. The businessman turns into majority shareholder (61%) in Could 2006.

Underneath the management of Pierre Berbizier – nicknamed “Jesus” by Mesnel -, the Ciel et Blancs returned to the highest flight in 2009-2010 and certified for the finals. They are going to lose within the play-offs at Clermont, the tip of the match might be stormy with Pierre Berbizier who violently assaults Pierre-Yves Revol, then president of the League, after a controversial arbitration. “You need not see Mr. Revol to see these pretend ass smiles. We would have liked to seek out one another. Afterwards, the thanks of Mr. Revol… Let him first go to the referee’s locker room”plague “Berbize”.

2016: Barcelona’s tour de drive

Current yearly on the assembly of the ultimate levels (which is all the time the case), the Racingmen are struggling to make the distinction and win within the playoffs. Laurent Labit and Laurent Travers, who arrived from Castres the place they received the Brennus in 2013, have been then fortunate to have a number of famend former All Blacks of their squad (Dan Carter, Joe Rokocoko and Chris Masoe), who pushed the staff to the highest. “We lacked gamers like that, who’re in a position to cleared the path, cleared the path on the pitch. However particularly off the sector. You solely see the “floor” a part of what they will deliver. What pursuits us is what they do outdoors“, defined on the time Laurent Labit, who grew to become coach of the assault of the XV of France.

The Hauts-de-Seine staff reached the Champions Cup closing for the primary time of their historical past, however misplaced in Lyon (with an injured Carter) towards the Saracens of Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje (21-9) . A month later, Racing 92 climbed into the ultimate once more, within the Prime 14 this time (relocated to Camp Nou in Barcelona, ​​due to the Euro soccer match in France), to problem Rugby Membership Toulonnais.

It began badly with the speedy expulsion of Ile-de-France scrum-half Maxime Machenaud, cursed throughout main occasions, for a harmful deal with on Australian Matt Giteau. However, as an alternative of precipitating the autumn of Ciel et Blanc, this truth of the match will provoke Racing, which overthrows the RCT, with specifically a tour de drive from winger Juan Imhoff who helps out within the scrum and an excellent solo attempt by Joe Rokokoko.

“We now have stars and troopers. However I believe there we had extra troopers than stars. On this case, when you could have gamers like Dan Carter and Joe Rokocoko, it pulls everybody up. Humanly, we now have created one thing. In the present day we did not present expertise, we confirmed work, work and work. And, as we are saying in Spanish, this staff has “huevos” (eggs)… Huge “huevos”!” the totemic Imhoff confided afterwards. A tribute to their wonderful elders, the gamers entered the garden in blazers and drank champagne at half-time. Thus far, this stays the one main title of the Lorenzetti interval Racing.

2017: change of period with the Area

This was Jacky Lorenzetti’s huge venture when he took over Racing 92: to construct a multimodal corridor to host each rugby matches and reveals. Which makes some tooth cringe. For the primary time, rugby turns into an indoor sport, unbiased of climate situations. And, proof of the primacy of non-sporting occasions, the acoustics have been specifically studied in the course of the development of the constructing by Christian de Portzamparc, the architect who received the Pritzker Prize (the Nobel Prize for architects) in 1994 and the Grand Prix de city planning in 2004, which notably imagined the Metropolis of Music in Paris (Parc de la Villette). The room, in-built a U, is supplied with an enormous display of 2200 m², the most important in Europe.

On an artificial turf, premium is given to attacking play and pace. A double-edged sword: Racing 92 has thus suffered a number of notable defeats in its Area and the groups that journey to Nanterre, behind the Grande Arche de La Défense, bravely play their luck and let go. Within the stands, the Alto-Séquanais membership actually welcomes many extra individuals than at Yves-Du-Manoir, however the Area is massive and its bays usually appear empty. In the course of the 2021-2022 season, Racing 92 gathered 157,000 paying spectators within the league, the seventh finest attendance within the Prime 14, far behind Bordeaux-Bègles (312,000 spectators) or Toulouse (245,000 spectators).

Confronted with the rising success of its enclosure (which provides a gauge between the Accor Area and the Stade de France), Racing is more and more compelled to relocate its conferences (Vannes, Nantes, Le Mans) when reveals happen. Subsequent instance to this point: Laurent Travers’ gamers will start their Champions Cup marketing campaign, towards the formidable Leinster, on December 10… in Le Havre.


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