This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (July 2011)
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The club was established in 1986 through the merger of two other rugby union clubs, the Stade Montpelliérain and MUC Rugby.
In 1993 the club won the Challenge de l'Espérance.
In 2003 the club became the champion of France's second division national rugby league, the Pro D2. After finishing second in the league table at the end of the 2002–03 season, Montpellier advanced to the playoffs. They defeated Auch in the semi-finals and Tarbes in the finals to win promotion to the Top 14. The following season the club played for the European Shield, and contested the final. Played in May 2004, Montpellier defeated Italian club Viadana 25 points to 19 to win the Shield.
The club barely avoided relegation after the 2006–07 season. Winning only 9 games during a 26 game season, Montpellier found itself in a relegation position with only two games left to play. Thanks to a bonus point victory in week 25, the team finished just four points ahead of Agen which was relegated to the Pro D2 at the end of the year.
After 2006–07, the club's fortunes began to improve. In June 2007, Fulgence Ouedraogo became the first Montpellier player to play on the French national rugby union team. Also that summer the club's new stadium opened, the Stade Yves-du-Manoir (renamed Altrad Stadium in 2014). In 2007–08 Montpellier enjoyed its first winning season in the Top 14. The club made its next step up the table in 2010–11 when it unexpectedly finished sixth by a single point and made the Top 14 playoffs for the first time. The underdog squad defeated both Castres and Racing Métro to make the championship game where they were defeated 15-10 by Toulouse. Since that season, Montpellier has become a consistent playoff contender, finishing fifth in both 2011–12 and 2012–13 and second on the league table in 2013–14.
Thanks to the club's excellent 2010–11 showing, Montpellier was awarded its first spot in the Heineken Cup tournament for 2011–12. The club returned for the 2012–13 tournament and made the semi-finals before being eliminated by Clermont. Montpellier returned for the final edition of the Heineken Cup in 2013–14, and are participating in the successor to the Heineken Cup, the European Rugby Champions Cup, in 2014–15.
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