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A truly volcanic school rugby experience at Clermont Auvergne

The spectacular natural landscape of the Auvergne region in the heart of France is something to behold. With agricultural farmland blending seamlessly into stunning mountain ranges and lakes, Auvergne is also the site of 80 volcanoes which are a significant feature of the region. Thankfully all are dormant (the last eruption was some 6,000 years ago) but dot the landscape with rounded hilltops (puys) formed from the cooled magma. For sports fans however, the region is noted for a force of nature of a different kind: the Clermont Auvergne rugby club.

The club ASM Clermont Auvergne was established in 1911 by Marcel Michelin, he of the world-famous tyre manufacturer which is based in the club’s hometown of Clermont Ferrard. Today ASMCA is a leading force in French rugby, currently sitting top of the table in France’s “Top 14” premier league. Their home at the 18,030 capacity Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin stadium is noted for its lively and enthusiastic atmosphere during home games, with ASMCA being a significant part of the town’s identity and spirit. Although having won the European Challenge Cup in 2007 and being crowned Top 14 champions in 2010, the club sometimes has the reputation of being the “bridesmaid” in major competitions: they reached the finals of the Top 14 some 12 occasions, yet have so far only one once. Unsurprisingly, the club boasts some major talent with the likes of Damien Chouly (No 8), Morgan Parra (Scrum Half) and Wesley Fofana (Centre) who all feature in the French national squad.

We have a longstanding relationship with the esteemed club and are pleased to offer school groups the opportunity of a once in a lifetime rugby club experience tour at Clermont Auvergne.

The exact itinerary for a school rugby trip to Clermont Auvergne can be tailored to your specific wishes. But typically, a tour would include:

  • – A behind the scenes tour of the Marcel Michelin Stadium and the club’s impressive training facilities.
  • – A professional coaching session with ASMCA’s Academy staff at their training centre, with full use of their training facilities and equipment.
  • – A chance to watch the current 1st team squad being put through their paces during training.
  • – Taking part in a competitive friendly match against the club’s current Academy players, or with associated feeder clubs.
  • – A Q&A session with a member of the current squad to find out what it takes to make it as a world-class rugby player.

There is also a chance during the rugby season, to secure tickets to a Clermont Auvergne home game (naturally subject to dates and availability).

We also make sure to make time for sightseeing in the pretty and historic city of Clermont Ferrard where the club is based. One of the oldest cities in France, the townscape is dominated by the town’s gothic cathedral and the beautiful Notre Dame des Port church. The majestic Place de Jaude in the centre of town includes impressive statues, the Opera House and charming architecture built with the regions characteristic volcanic stone.

Maybe it’s something in the local volcanic water (the region is the source of Volvic mineral water) but school parties typically return home energised and inspired from their rugby trip to Clermont Auvergne.

phone 01279 647566

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