Union Bordeaux Bègles
|Full name||Union Bordeaux Bègles|
|Nickname(s)||Les Girondins, The Girondists|
|Ground(s)||Stade Chaban-Delmas (main venue) (Capacity: 34,694)
Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux (Capacity: 40,000)
Union Bordeaux Bègles (Occitan: Union Bordèu Begla) is a French rugby union team playing in the Top 14, the first level of the country's professional league system. They earned their Top 14 place by winning the promotion playoffs that followed the 2010–11 season in the second-level Rugby Pro D2. Upon promotion to the Top 14 in 2011, they were assured a place in the European Challenge Cup. In 2015, they earned their European Champions Cup place, after winning the European playoffs against Gloucester Rugby in Worcester.
They were founded in 2006 as a result of a merger between two Bordeaux clubs, Stade Bordelais and Club Athlétique Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde. They wear claret (in French: bordeaux) and white. They are based in Bordeaux (New Aquitaine), and play at the Stade Chaban-Delmas. The two teams which amalgamated cumulated nine championship titles of France: seven for the Stade Bordelais and two for the Club Athlétique Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde. Since 2006 and the amalgamation, the club competed in Pro D2 until winning the 2011 promotion playoffs. UBB drew an average home attendance of 23,689 in the 2014/2015 Top 14 season.
For several years, the city of Bordeaux suffered from the absence of a leading club, or rather from the competition between the two large clubs of the city, the Stade Bordelais and CA Bordeaux-Bègles-Gironde.
The Stade Bordelais was a large national Rugby team at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century (seven championships between 1899 and 1911), before continuing their life within the amateur championships.
The CA Béglais did not reach soaring highs before the First World War, finally gaining two French Championships in 1969 and 1991 and then taking part in the first European Rugby Cup in 1995. The transition into the new millennium was hard. The club was relegated to the Pro D2 at the conclusion of the 2002–03 season, then into the Fédérale 1 division, while Stade Bordelais took the opposite direction and reached Pro D2.
In 2005, a plan to merge both clubs was created, in spite of strong opposition by both club's supporters. There was strong insight from former influential players (Serge Simon, Bernard Laporte) who pushed for a result of pooling the assets of the two clubs. One of the arguments frequently employed in favour of fusion was that the local companies did not know which club to promote.
On 10 March 2006, Bordeaux Rugby Metropolis was created. This association gathered a network of local companies eager to imply themselves in the formation of a large club in Bordeaux.
Bordeaux Rugby Metropolis organised in June 2006 the event 'Bordeaux Rugby Quinconces' which brought together 25,000 people and 100 companies during 3 days on the Esplanade of the Quinconces of Bordeaux. Under the influence of the association, the historical dissensions between the two clubs were partly alleviated. A union was sealed, in the shape of a Professional Sporting Public Limit Company (SASP), with the issue of work for a committee made up of six members resulting with members from each of the two clubs (CABBG : Michel Moga, Alban Moga, Raymond Chatenet; Stade bordelais : Jean-Pierre Lamarque, Herve Hargous, Philippe Moulia).
Only the professional squads were actually merged, as each club has kept its youth teams to this day.
The new team took the place of the Stade Bordelais in the Pro D2. The training centre of Bègles is particularly strong and will hopefully provide players to the top grades.
For their first seasons, the team profited from a budget of €3.6 million. Frederic Martini remained one year as the president of USBCABBG before yielding his place to Laurent Marti, entrepreneur bergeracois (Groupe Top Tex, basé à Toulouse) at the start of the 2006 season. The new president has contributed to finalising where the Union's home ground would be (Stage Andre Moga de Bègles), and the unpronouncable name "USBCABBG" which became Union Bordeaux Bègles (UBB) in the spring of 2008. Laurent Marti contributed largely to increase the club's budget, passing it from €3.8 million (euros) in 2007–08 to €4.2 million (euros) 2008–09. The ambition is to rediscover the clubs elite form in a short-term (two or three years).
The Pro D2 2010–11 season, saw the club finish fifth place on the table and gaining a place in the finals. The UBB beat Grenoble (12–19) in the semis, securing their spot in the final against SC Albi. The grand final took place in Agen with the final result going to the Bordealaise (14–21), also seeing them promoted to the Top 14.
Hong Kong investment company GaveKal bought a 10% stakes of the team in 2015.
In spite of calls to simplify the club name, "Union Stade bordelais-C.A.Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde" was adopted; neither of the two clubs wanting to yield. The Béglais refused to disappear within a name which would only mention Bordeaux (for example, Bordeaux Rugby), whereas, at the time, top-level rugby in the area was the CAB. "We found it hard to find a name for the club which is appropriate for the two teams. The selected name respects the concepts of parity and equilibrium" (Philippe Moulia, président du Stade bordelais omnisports)
In May 2008, the club's name, known for its length, was changed to 'Union Bordeaux Bègles'.
The other problem related to the home ground. Neither of the two clubs wanted to yield, so that, for their first season, the team was to play 7 matches at the Stade Sainte-Germaine at Bouscat and the other 7 matches at the Stade André-Moga at Bègles—although the rules of the (French) National Rugby League specify that no Pro D2 rugby club could play their home matches at two different home grounds. During the second season, it was decided that the 1st grade matches would be held in Bègles, while the lower grade matches would be held in Bouscat.
The logo represents, on one side the blue and white checker work of CA Béglais and the other side the yellow lion with a black base of Stade Bordelais. The crescents symbolises the city of Bordeaux.
Honours / Results
Rugby Top 14
- 2014–15 – 7th : won European playoffs for European Champions Cup
- 2013–14 – 8th
- 2012–13 – 11th
- 2011–12 – 8th
Rugby Pro D2
- 2010–11 – 5th; won promotion playoffs
- 2009–10 – 9th
- 2008–09 – 11th
- 2007–08 – 12th
- 2006–07 – 12th
- 2005–06 – 7th
|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
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2017-18 Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
- Stade Bordelais
- Club Athlétique Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde
- List of rugby union clubs in France
- Rugby union in France
- (in French) Official website
- (in French) Official site of CABBG (Bègles)
- (in French) Official site of Stade Bordelais (multi-sports club)