Rugby Club CERN

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Rugby Club CERN
Full nameRugby Club CERN - Meyrin - St Genis
UnionFédération Suisse de Rugby
LocationGeneva, Switzerland
Ground(s)Stade des Serves
46°14′21″N 6°02′14″E / 46.2393°N 6.0371°E / 46.2393; 6.0371 (Stade des Serves)
Stade de Meyrin
46°14′00″N 6°04′15″E / 46.233352°N 6.07081°E / 46.233352; 6.07081 (Stade de Meyrin)
PresidentFrance Grégory Bertrand
Coach(es)Romania Ioan Doja,France Yann Mauvoisin
Captain(s)France Rémy Henry
League(s)Swiss 1st Division
Team kit
Official website

Rugby Club CERN - Meyrin - St Genis (RC CMSG) are a semi-professional Swiss rugby union club situated on the French–Swiss border, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) northwest of Geneva. The club plays in the Swiss first division where it is one of the most successful teams in the country's history, behind Hermance RRC.[1]

Club history[edit]

RC CMSG was formed as Rugby Club du CERN (Rugby Club of CERN) in 1965,[2] making it the oldest club currently playing in Switzerland. The earliest recorded match in Switzerland was in 1869 and if they were still in existence, Lausanne RFC could have claimed to be as old as Blackheath.[3] The club was originally formed by staff of CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) in around 1960, playing against other companies and organizations in the Geneva area. In 1970, RC CERN organised a memorial competition, Challenge Laurent Membrez,[4] in honor of Laurent Membrez, the founder of Albaladejo Rugby Club.[5] This led to the creation of the Swiss Rugby Federation in 1972 with the then president of RC CERN, André Cordaillat, becoming the federation's first president.[6] In 1984, the club moved to its present ground just across the border in Saint-Genis-Pouilly, France; despite being officially renamed to Rugby Club CERN - St Genis, it was still referred to as RC CERN. Then in 2003 the club merged with the successful Ecole de rugby Meyrin (Meyrin Rugby School), creating the present Rugby Club CERN - Meyrin - St Genis with two stadiums, one in France and one in Switzerland. In 2005, the Wildcats, RC CMSG's women's rugby team, were created, adding to the growth of women's rugby in Switzerland.

After the creation of the Swiss Federation, the club enjoyed considerable success, winning both the Swiss Championship and Swiss Cup repeatedly. In the early 1990s, the fortunes of the club started to change and their successes became less frequent, with the club eventually being relegated to the second division in 1994. The club regained promotion a couple of years later but were only to remain in the first division for a further two years. After a dispute between players, coaches and management, the president removed the club from all competitions. In the autumn of 2000, a new management took control of the club, bringing in ex-England B[7], Ireland A,[8] Northampton and Gloucester[9] second row, John Etheridge, as coach. The club then won the third and second divisions in consecutive years, but were unable to stay in the first division, and after the second relegation from the first division, Etheridge left the club. In 2007, RC CMSG appointed Claude Ezoua as head coach, who notably took the Ivory Coast rugby team to the 1995 Rugby World Cup. The club then achieved promotion back to the first division in the 2008–2009 season, losing only one game in the whole season, with the club managing to stay in the first division during the 2009–2010 season for the first time in 15 years. RC CMSG slowly climbed to the top of table, each season finishing higher than the previous, and making the league knock-out stages for three consecutive seasons. In 2014 CERN re-enforced the coaching setup with the ex-Romanian national squad captain Ioan Doja who represented his country at the World Cup,[10] also playing teams such as for Oyonnax.

The January 2015 General Assembly voted in new club president Grégory Bertrand, long time member of the club. Due to a number of players leaving the club, the management asked the Swiss Federation for the club to be relegated to the second division for the 2015/2016 season after 6 years in the first division. The 2015/2016 season saw CERN undefeated at home and following the league play off matches they were promoted back to the first division after only one season in the second division.

Club honours[edit]

Competitions Years
Swiss Champions (NLA) 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1991
Swiss Cup 1973, 1974, 1977, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992
Federation Cup 1975, 1991
Second Division Champions (NLB) 1998, 2002, 2009, 2016
Third Division Champions (NLC) 2001

Current 1st team Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Romain Bonnefoy Hooker France France
Beren Evans Hooker Switzerland Switzerland
Nicolas Baronciani Prop Switzerland Switzerland
Julien Bonenfant Prop Switzerland Switzerland
Peter MacAvock Prop Ireland Ireland
Jordane Clair Prop France France
Toko Prop Fiji Fiji
Nik Harte Prop England England
Elliot Goodman Lock England England
Sebastien Katz Lock France France
Gergory Bertrand Lock France France
Pascal Prost Lock France France
Nick Sharmazanashvili Lock Georgia (country) Georgia
Fabrice Calmettes Lock United States United States
Leo Hempel Lock Switzerland Switzerland
Thibault Fabre Lock Switzerland Switzerland
Benoît Rio Lock France France
Stéphane Maccari Flanker France France
Guillaume Fontana Flanker France France
Pierre Szydlowski Flanker France France
Remy Henry (c) Flanker France France
Charlie Genton Flanker France France
Lorenzo Palestini Flanker Italy Italy
Christophe Fabre Flanker Switzerland Switzerland
Nick Hanley Number 8 England England
Kabir Sehmi Number 8 Switzerland Switzerland
Player Position Union
Francesco Velotti Scrum-half Italy Italy
Miguel Costa Scrum-half Portugal Portugal
Joey van Strien Scrum-half Netherlands Netherlands
Vicentiu Vacaru Fly-half Romania Romania
Jerôme Lespes Fly-half Switzerland Switzerland
Bastian Gras Fly-half Switzerland Switzerland
Phil Moss Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Alex Bell Centre England England
George Truelove Centre England England
Ioan Manolescu Centre Romania Romania
Mark Chalmers Centre England England
Bertrand Toussaint Centre France France
Eric Talon Wing France France
Ivan Calvet Wing France France
Rachid Zaibat Wing France France
Alphonse Ague Wing Ivory Coast Ivory Coast
Gevorg Petrosyan Wing Georgia (country) Georgia
Samuele Torrisi Wing Switzerland Switzerland
Elias Montoya-Aspisi Fullback France France
Nico Di Vara Fullback Italy Italy
Grégory Debellis Fullback France France
Galan Lliteras Fullback France France
Mathias Fabre Fullback Switzerland Switzerland


1965 – 1972 André Cordaillat
1972 – 1975 Michael Gamble
1976 – 1991 Jacques Morand
1992 - 1993 Pascal Mesenge
1994 - 1995 Neil Calder
1996 - 1998 Henri Masseboeuf
1999 - 2000 Roger Girardot
2001 - 2003 Ray Veness
2004 Matteo Mazzanti
2005 - 2015 Peter MacAvock
2015 - Grégory Bertrand



1965 – 1996 ?
1996 – 1999 Christian Marcon France
1999 – 2000 Eric Planes France
2000 - 2007 John Etheridge Republic of Ireland
2007 Ali Day England Damian Moore England
2007 - 2010 Claude Ezoua Ivory Coast Ali Day England
2010 - 2011 Ali Day England Gianni Di Martino Italy
2011 - 2014 Sebastien Frunza Romania Yann Mauvoisin France
2014 - 2015 Sebastien Frunza Romania Ioan Doja Romania
2015 - Ioan Doja Romania Yann Mauvoisin France

Women (Wildcats)[edit]

2005 Paul Clements-Hunt England
2005 - 2007 Ali Day England
2007 - 2008 Gianni Di Martino Italy
2008 - 2015 Moyenda Chaponda United States
2015 - Christian Von Arx Switzerland

See also[edit]


  1. ^
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  3. ^ Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 978-1-86200-013-1) p 75
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^,1.html
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^