Les Médi’Ovales International Rugby Tournament 2022
The Les Médi’Ovales International Rugby Tournament 2022 is taking place from April 30 – 1st May 2022 in France and is organised by the Provins Rugby Club. The annual youth rugby tournament organisers are appealing for teams from Asia to enter for the first time.
The international rugby tournament is primarily for Under 16 and Under 14 age group rugby teams, and over the years, the French social tournament has seen teams from South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, England, Poland, Belgium, Italy and many other countries enter.
The organisers from Provins Rugby Club told Rugby Asia 247 “The fundamentals of our tournament are: respect, friendliness and discovery. It is an opportunity for teams from all over the world to meet. It’s also a celebration that brings together players, families, volunteers, supporters and residents.”
How did the Les Médi’Ovales International Rugby Tournament start?
Every year since 2004 the Provins Rugby Club has organised its international tournament. Originally, the tournament was created to allow for their young players to meet foreign rugby teams.
“At the first tournament, in 2004, we hosted Belgians, Dutch and an English team, which was unexpected at the time,” said Mathieu Pottier from the Provins club. “The first two editions were successful, encouraging us to continue the adventure.”
August 2005 marked a turning point in the tournament’s history. The organisers were surprised by an enrollment request from a South African rugby club based in Pretoria and a New Zealand College in Christchurch.
“So in the Spring of 2006, the haka and songs in Afrikaans resounded in Provins!” Pottier told us. The tournament added a parade in Provins, Banda Landaise, and provided accommodation for the young rugby players and their families, provided meals (to +/- 700 people), and assisted in the organisation of stays and itineraries for teams from overseas (visiting local attractions in Provence, Paris, the caves in Champenoises, Disneyland Paris etc), and grew a team of 100 volunteers to help during the two-day tournament.
“At that time, we were the biggest international youth tournament in France! We have since then hosted teams from Belgium and England (including Twickenham and the Saracens), South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, Scotland, Czech Republic, Russia, Luxembourg, Holland, Romania, Poland, Sweden, Wales, Germany, Denmark and Ireland for what has today become one of the major sporting events in Provence.”
What makes the Medio Vales rugby tournament special in your opinion and what are the most memorable moments?
“The success of this tournament is mainly due to the very ‘rugby’ friendly spirit that lives within the club, obviously greatly appreciated by our visitors who now register every year. This has also allowed us to send our youngest teams to the Moscow tournament, and the biggest rugby tournament in South Africa thanks to the friendships forged between the leaders of the clubs.”
In terms of other memorable moments, Pottier added: “As for the most memorable moments, the list goes on. Each edition of the tournament was marked with its share of anecdotes and sporting and human stories.
From a sporting point of view, the look of children when they find themselves facing a New Zealand team performing their haka, or the emotion that’s etched on the faces of children during the anthems of their countries during the final rounds.”
Pottier added that the tournament importantly allows children to interact with different cultures and welcome children of other nationalities into their homes.
Why do you want to see an Asian team enter and how can you assist them?
“We have never had an Asian team at the tournament. Welcoming a new nation, discovering a new culture, and participating in the development of rugby in Asia are all motivations to achieve this goal.”
The organisers have appealed for interested teams in Asia to register and said they can assist from an organisational point of view.
“We work with many partners who can help teams build a trip itinerary when they visit us. From a financial point of view, we are working to ensure that the tournament remains accessible to as many children as possible, and we make sure to keep the costs as low as possible.
Our goal is not to make a profit but to allow as many children as possible from all over the world to travel and dream during our rugby tournament.”
How many teams enter the Les Médi’Ovales International Rugby Tournament?
More than 24 youth rugby teams, which represent over 700 players, enter the Les Médi’Ovales tournament. The event also attracts up to 2,000 spectators. More than 80 rugby matches are played over the two days.
- U14 (players born in 2008-2009)
- U16 (players born in 2006-2007)
- Date: April 30 – 1st May 2022
- Venue: Provins Rugby Club, Stade Lionel Repellin-Bouvier, 77160 Provins, France
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