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Do you know the history of Lyon’s rugby club? Here is a brief introduction to LOU Rugby, from its beginnings to the present day.

Last updated date : 07/03/2023

In 1896, six years following the introduction of rugby to the pupils at Lycée Ampère, the Rugby Club de Lyon was founded. Two years later, it beat the team from Lycée de Bourgoin 42-0.
In 1902, the Rugby Club de Lyon and Racing Club de Lyon merged to become Lyon Olympique and began playing in red and black.
In 1910, after establishing links with the prestigious higher education institution École Centrale de Lyon, the club was renamed Lyon Olympique Universitaire (LOU).

In 2011, with the arrival of new, more experienced players to the men’s team, LOU Rugby made it into France’s elite rugby league – the ‘TOP 14’. The LOU Rugby team also began playing at the newly built Matmut Stadium, until 2017, when it moved to the Stade de Gerland.

And let’s not forget the women’s section of the club, which was created in 2008 and now has a total of 300 players. Among other titles, they were champions of the French rugby union club competition ‘Fédérale 1’ in 2013, and runners-up in the ‘Élite 2’ competition in 2016.

Today, the men’s team includes five players from New Zealand. You can see them play at LOU Rugby’s home games. Don’t miss the chance to watch them before the start of the 2023 Rugby World Cup!

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