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Gers (Department, France): Sports clubs

Last modified: 2014-05-04 by ivan sache
Keywords: gers | rugby | isle-jourdain (l') |
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FC Auch-Gers

[Flag of FC Auch-Gers]

Flag of FC Auch-Gers - Image by Ivan Sache, 29 May 2013

FC Auch-Gers is a rugby club based in the town of Auch. Rugby was played in Auch for the first time in 1897. The first organized club, the Football-Vélo-Club-Auscitain (FVCA) was founded in 1903. On 13 March 1921, the monument commemorating the club' s members killed during the First World War was inaugurated and the club was renamed Football-Club-Auscitain (FCA).
The club won the French Second League in 1947, 2004 and 2007, and the European Shield in 2005, defeating Worcester (23-10). It currently plays in the Second League (Pro D2).

The most famous player ever of FCA is the Auch-born scrum-half Jacques Fouroux (1947-2005). Fouroux played with FCA from 1976 to 1981 but has remained famous, as the "Little Caporal", as the captain of the French national team that won the Five Nations' Grand Slam in 1977. Appointed coach of the French national team in 1980, Fouroux got rid of the selection committee that previously "surveyed" the coaches and imposed English methods of training; the French team won the Five Nations in 1981 (Grand Slam), 1983, 1986, 1987 (Grand Slam), 1988 and 1989. The team lost the final of the first World Cup against New Zealand in 1987 after having defeated Australia at home in semi-final. Fouroux resigned following an unexpected defeat against Romania in Auch.
The full-back Jacques Brunel played for FCA in 1976-1979 and 1981-1988, coaching the team in 1988-1995. He then coached USAP (Perpignan), winning the national championship in 2009, and the Italian national team (since 2011).
Several famous French players started they career in Auch and subsequently joined more prominent clubs, for instance the prop Fabien Barcella (2006-2008; 20 matches with the French national team since 2008) and the Auch-born hooker Yannick Bru (18 matches with the French national team in 2001-2004).

The flag used by the supporters of FC Auch-Gers (photo, photo, photo) is horizontally divided red-white.
Red and white are the colours of the town, showed on the municipal coat of arms, "Per fess, 1. Gules a Paschal lamb argent, 2. Argent a lion gules".

Ivan Sache, 29 May 2013

US L'Isle-Jourdain

[Flag of USL]

Flag of USL - Image by Ivan Sache, 25 November 2012

The municipality of L'Isle-Jourdain (7,296 inhabitants in 2009, therefore the second most populated municipality in the department of Gers) is located half distance (40 km) of Auch and Toulouse.

The first rugby club in L'Isle-Jourdain was founded in 1907 as Racing Club Lislois, presided by the baker Jean Chabanon. The club was subsequently renamed Union Sportive de L'Isle-Jourdain (USL).
The club won in 1967 the national championship in 4th Series (16-8 to Lespignan), led by Jean-Claude Skrela, a 18-year old flanker.
In 1970, USL joined the 3rd League, winning the championship in 1980 (3-0 to Saint-Paul-lès-Dax). The club played for one season in Group "B" of the 1st League, in 1995-1996.
In 2004, USL joined the Federal 1st League, that is the elite of amateur rugby, where it would stay for only one season. USL currently plays in Federal 2nd League.

Three members of USL played with the French national team.
The lock Élie Cester (b. 1942 in L'Isle-Jourdain) played 35 times (1966-1974) with the French team, winning the Grand Slam in the 1968 Five Nations.
The flanker Jean-Claude Skrela (b. 1949) played 46 times (1971-1978) with the French national team, winning the Grand Slam in the 1977 Five Nations. As a coach of Stade Toulousain (1983-1992), he won three national championships (1985, 1986, 1989); as the coach of the French national team (1995-1999), he won two Grand Slams in a row (1997 and 1998) and reached the final of the World Cup in 1999.
The flanker Patrick Tabacco (b. 1974) played 18 times (2001-2005) with the French team; he also won the national championship with Stade Français in 2003 and 2004. In 2008, he came back to L'Isle-Jourdain to "come full circle" and play again, as an amateur, with his original club, USL.

In 2012, USL won the Federal 2nd League "B" (for reserve teams), 19-9 to Suresnes. A photo taken during the award ceremony shows a supporter's flag as vertically divided yellow-red. These are the club's colours, which are nicknamed "sang et or" (blood and gold) - as the RC Lens football club.

Ivan Sache, 25 November 2012