Rugby Pro D2

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Rugby Pro D2
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2017–18 Rugby Pro D2 season
Logo ProD2 2012.png
Sport Rugby union
Founded 2000
No. of teams 16
Country  France
Most recent
champion(s)
Oyonnax
Promotion to Top 14
Relegation to Fédérale 1

Rugby Pro D2, also known as Pro D2 is the second division of domestic club rugby union in France. Both leagues are operated by Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR). Rugby Pro D2, directly below the first division, Top 14, was introduced in 2000.

Season structure[edit]

There is relegation and promotion between both the Top 14 and Fédérale 1, the third-level competition. The top club at the end of the season is automatically promoted to the Top 14; through the 2016–17 season, the 2nd through 5th place teams play each other for the second promotion place. The bottom two are automatically relegated to Fédérale 1. The bottom two clubs of the Top 14 and the top two of Fédérale 1 then enter the Rugby Pro D2 for the next season.

There are 30 rounds in the regular season, with each team playing each other team home and away. The two halves of the season are played in the same order, with the away team in the first half of the season at home in the second half. The semi-finals and final take place in May, with the second- and third-place teams hosting the semi-finals and the final taking place at a predetermined site. At present, 16 clubs compete in the competition.

All promotions are contingent on passing a postseason financial audit required for all clubs. Also, if a club above the bottom two places fails the audit, it may be relegated in the place of a club that would otherwise have been relegated. This was especially an issue in the 2015–16 season, when four clubs faced at least the prospect of relegation for financial reasons. During the season, Tarbes were dropped to Fédérale 1 effective with the 2016–17 season, and Biarritz, Bourgoin and Narbonne were also dropped at the end of the season, pending appeals.[1] Ultimately, Biarritz, Bourgoin, and Narbonne all won their appeals and remained in Pro D2.[2][3]

Changes for 2017–18 and beyond[edit]

In August 2016, LNR released a strategic plan outlining its vision for French rugby through the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The plan includes significant changes to the top levels of the league system, with Pro D2 seeing especially dramatic changes starting with the 2017–18 season.[4]

  • Starting with 2017–18, Pro D2 will adopt a playoff system identical to that of the Top 14, with the top six teams on the league table qualifying. The top two teams receive byes into the semifinals, where they will face the winners of quarterfinal matches involving the remaining four sides.
  • Only the Pro D2 champions will be assured of promotion to the Top 14. The losing finalist will enter a playoff with the second-from-bottom Top 14 side, with the winner taking up the final Top 14 place.
  • There will also be major changes regarding promotion from Fédérale 1 to Pro D2. While two teams will continue to be promoted each season, the current system of two teams earning competitive promotions to Pro D2 will be scrapped. Instead, only the winner of the promotion playoffs will be promoted. The second promotion place will go to a "wildcard" club chosen by LNR meeting the following criteria:
    • Must be located in northern France (with the dividing line running approximately from La Rochelle to Lyon)
    • Have a long-term development plan
    • Location in an area that can demographically and economically support a fully professional club
  • The "wildcard" promotions will occur for three seasons (through 2019–20), after which LNR will create a third fully professional league below Pro D2.

Current teams[edit]

2017–18 season

Club City Stadium
Stade Aurillacois Aurillac (Cantal) Stade Jean Alric
Aviron Bayonnais Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) Stade Jean Dauger
AS Béziers Hérault Béziers (Hérault) Stade de la Méditerranée
Biarritz Olympique Biarritz (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) Parc des Sports Aguiléra
US Carcassonne Carcassonne (Aude) Stade Albert Domec
Colomiers Rugby Colomiers (Haute-Garonne) Stade Michel Bendichou
US Dax Dax (Landes) Stade Maurice Boyau
FC Grenoble Grenoble (Isère) Stade des Alpes
RC Massy Massy (Essonne) Stade Jules-Ladoumègue
Stade Montois Mont-de-Marsan (Landes) Stade Guy Boniface
US Montauban Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne) Stade Sapiac
RC Narbonne Narbonne (Aude) Parc des Sports Et de l'Amitié
USO Nevers Nevers (Nièvre) Stade du Pré Fleuri
USA Perpignan Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) Stade Aimé Giral
Soyaux Angouleme Angoulême (Charente) Stade Chanzy
RC Vannes Vannes (Morbihan) Stade de la Rabine
Pro D2 logo used through the 2011–12 season.


Changes to lineup after 2016-2017 season:

  • Promotion to Top 14: Oyonnax (season champions) and Agen (promotion playoff winners).
  • Relegation from Top 14: Bayonne (14th) and Grenoble (13th).
  • Promotion from Fédérale 1: Massy (season champions) and Nevers (promotion playoff winners).
  • Relegation to Fédérale 1: Bourgoin (16th) and Albi (15th).

Table[edit]

The current table for the 2017–18 Rugby Pro D2 is:[5]

2017–18 Rugby Pro D2 Table watch · edit · discuss
Pos Club Pl W D L PF PA PD TB LB Pts
1 Grenoble 12 9 0 3 352 267 +85 2 2 40
2 Montauban 12 9 1 2 215 226 –11 1 0 39
3 Perpignan 12 7 1 4 378 271 +107 5 1 36
4 Colomiers 12 7 1 4 285 236 +49 4 1 35
5 Mont-de-Marsan 12 7 0 5 334 209 +125 6 1 35
6 Biarritz 12 7 0 5 291 261 +30 1 2 31
7 Aurillac 12 5 1 6 269 239 +30 1 3 26
8 Nevers 12 6 0 6 230 231 –1 2 0 26
9 Vannes 12 5 0 7 283 316 –33 2 2 24
10 Bayonne 12 5 0 7 309 359 –50 2 2 24
11 Massy 12 5 0 7 255 260 –5 1 3 24
12 Soyaux Angoulême 12 5 1 6 244 285 –41 0 2 24
13 Dax 12 5 0 7 241 299 –58 1 3 24
14 Béziers 12 5 0 7 264 303 –39 1 2 23
15 Narbonne 12 4 1 7 209 290 –81 2 1 21
16 Carcassonne 12 2 0 10 213 320 –107 1 4 13
Legend:
Pos = Position, Pl = Played, W = Won, D = Drawn, L = Lost, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, PD = Points Difference, TB = Try Bonus Points, LB = Losing Bonus Points, Pts = Points Total
Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final Promotion play-off places.
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final Promotion play-off places.
Red background relegation to Fédérale 1.

Notes:
When two teams have the same points total, position is determined by head-to-head results before points difference.

Previous seasons[edit]

Season Champion Play-off winner
2016–17 Oyonnax Agen
2015–16 Lyon Bayonne
2014–15 Pau Agen
2013–14 Lyon La Rochelle
2012–13 Oyonnax Brive
2011–12 Grenoble Mont-de-Marsan
2010–11 Lyon Bordeaux Bègles
2009–10 Agen La Rochelle
2008–09 Racing Métro Albi
2007–08 Toulon Mont-de-Marsan
2006–07 Auch Dax
2005–06 Montauban Albi
Runner-up
2004–05 Toulon Only one promotion as the Top16 became Top14.
2003–04 Auch Bayonne
Lost the play-off final to Auch
2002–03 Montpellier Brive
2001–02 Mont-de-Marsan Grenoble
2000–01 Montauban Only one promotion as the top division reduced from 21 to 16 teams.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Mortimer, Gavin (1 June 2016). "Financial penalties in the ProD2 send shockwaves around French rugby". Rugby World. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  2. ^ "Biarritz et Narbonne Maintenus en PRO D2" [Biarritz and Narbonne Remain in Pro D2] (Press release) (in French). Ligue Nationale de Rugby. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Bourgoin Reste en PRO D2" [Bourgoin Remains in Pro D2] (Press release) (in French). Ligue Nationale de Rugby. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Mortimer, Gavin (18 August 2016). "French rugby enjoys a popularity boom as it looks to the future". Rugby World. Retrieved 12 February 2017. 
  5. ^ "Classement PRO D2". Ligue Nationale de Rugby (in French). Retrieved 10 May 2017. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]