Montpellier Hérault Rugby
|Full name||Montpellier Hérault Rugby|
|Nickname(s)||Les Cistes, The Cistuses|
|Location||Montpellier, Occitania, France|
|Ground(s)||Altrad Stadium (Capacity: 14,700)|
|2016–17||3rd (playoff quarter-finalists)|
Montpellier Hérault Rugby (French pronunciation: [mɔ̃.pə.lje eʁo ʁʊɡbi klʊb]) (Occitan: Montpelhièr Erau Rugbi Club) is a professional French rugby union, based in Montpellier, Occitanie. The club competes in the top level of the French league system, in the Top 14. They originally played at Stade Sabathé (capacity 5,000) but moved to the Stade Yves-du-Manoir, now known as Altrad Stadium, in 2007. They wear white and blue.
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 quarter-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.
- Top 14
- Runners-up: 2011
- Rugby Pro D2
- Champions: 2003
- European Rugby Challenge Cup
- Champions: 2016
- European Shield:
- Champions: 2004
- Challenge de l'Espérance:
- Champions: 1993
|4 June 2011||Stade Toulousain||Montpellier Hérault RC||15–10||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||77,000|
|21 May 2004||Montpellier Hérault RC||Viadana||25-19||Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma||2,553|
European Challenge Cup
|13 May 2016||Montpellier Hérault RC||Harlequins||26-19||Grand Stade de Lyon, Lyon||28.556|
|Club||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points For||Points Against||Points Diff.||Tries For||Tries Against||Try Bonus||Losing Bonus||Points|
|1||La Rochelle (SF)||26||17||3||6||707||498||+209||68||46||6||5||85|
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
|Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final play-off places and receive berths in the 2017–18 European Rugby Champions Cup.
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final play-off places, and receive berths in the Champions Cup.
Yellow background (row 7) advances to a play-off for a chance to compete in the Champions Cup.
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2017–18 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Red background (row 13 and 14) will be relegated to Rugby Pro D2. Final table
The Montpellier squad for the 2016–17 Top 14 season is:
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
Notable former players
||This list of "famous" or "notable" persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (June 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
- Martin Bustos Moyano
- Agustin Creevy
- Santiago Fernandez
- Lucas González Amorosino
- Federico Todeschini
- Matthew Carraro
- Shontayne Hape
- David Attoub
- David Aucagne
- Yoan Audrin
- Alexandre Bias
- Aliki Fakate
- Anthony Floch
- Rémy Martin
- Nicolas Mas
- Louis Picamoles
- Thibaut Privat
- Olivier Sarramea
- Benjamin Thiery
- Julien Tomas
- François Trinh-Duc
- Mamuka Gorgodze
- Shalva Mamukashvili
- Giorgi Chkhaidze
- Gagi Bazadze
- David Bortolussi
- Cristian Stoica
- Justin Marshall
- Alex Tulou
- Gonçalo Uva
- Vasco Uva
- Johnnie Beattie
- Jim Hamilton (rugby union)
- (in French) Montpellier Hérault Rugby Club official website