XV du Parlement : a Bit of History

The XV du Parlement was created some 25 years ago by some National Assembly public officials who congregated within the rugby section of the National Assembly Sports Association (A.S.C.AN.).  The XV currently brings together a senator, members of parliaments, National Assembly, public officials, parliamentarian assistants as well as other rugby friends from Paris area.

The XV first got himself talked about within the Ile-de-France corporative championship and then became a pioneer in the rugby as leisure, with a growing participation of the officials.

Every year, the season ends with a game between the National Assembly and the Senate. Those inter-parliaments games were cancelled in 1985 due to a lack of senators playing. They fortunately restarted in 1993.

From 1987, at the initiative of several officials and of the ASCAN RUGBY, a charity game is organised every year at the Jean Bouin Stadium in Paris. For this game the XV meets the sportive press team. This popular successful event allows the teams to make an important donation to Fondation de France, which is a private organisation collecting donations in favour of different actions in different domains: solidarity, health and medical research, culture, education, environment.

In October 1991, during the opening of the Rugby World Cup in BEZIERS, The XV met the senior team of AS BEZIERS. The profits of this game were funded to the FFR Foundation (Rugby French Federation).

Since then the team regularly takes part in solidarity events such as the Téléthon (struggle against genetic diseases), the struggle against the drugs, the Fondation Ferrasse (for rugby disabled persons), the Restos du Coeur (help for homeless people), etc.…

1991; the beginning of the international era

In 1991, at the House of Commons’ speaker’s invitation, the XV du Parlement met a team composed of Members of Parliament and British lords in London.

Since then every year, the day before the Five Nations Rugby Tournament (now Six) a game is played between France and England, The XV meets its across the Channel counterparts.

In November 1992 in AUCH, the XV played the closing game of the international France-Romania game.

In July 1993, the XV made its first tour across the Atlantic following in Jacques Cartier’s footsteps to MONTREAL, OTTAWA et QUEBEC.

In April 1998, at the parliamentarians of the Reunion’s invitation, the XV made a tour on the Reunion Island. In April the same year the XV met its Irish counterpart at the time of a tour on the celtic lands.

The Parliamentarian Rugby World Cup

In 1995, thanks to the Anglo French “rugbystic” relations, the South-African Parliament organised the first Parliamentarian Rugby World Cup at the Cap, under the presidency of Nelson MANDELA. Six nations took part in the competition: the United Kingdom, Ireland, New-Zealand, Argentina, South-Africa and France.

From the 24th of September to the 3rd of October 1999, the XV du Parlement took part in the second Parliamentarian Rugby World Cup, organised by the British team. Six “parliaments” met on the field: England, Ireland, South-Africa, New-Zealand, Japan and France.

In 2003, on the fifth Rugby World Cup, the first two weeks of October, the XV was pleased to travel to Australia for the third Parliamentarian Rugby World Cup. They met the Australian, South-African and Irish parliaments’ teams and ended at the 3rd place. The other contestants were the English and New-Zealander parliaments.

Other meetings

In April 2000 the XV du Parlement made a tour in Martinique.

In April 2001, the House of Commons won by 24 to 14 against the XV in TWICKENAM. The same day the XV de France was being defeated by the English rugby team.

The XV also made a tour in SENEGAL, in order to realise a charity action. They thus delivered medicines, books and school supplies to 5 isolated villages.

Au printemps 2002, le XV du parlement a mis le cap vers l’Est pour un séjour à Prague.

The XV went on the move to Argentina in April 2005. There they met a really ambitious Pumas team.

The XV also spent a week-end in Lisbon in autumn 2005 where they had a really good game with a local team.

In Spring 2006, the XV went for a week end to Bucarest where they played a very hard-fought match.

The New-Zealander parliament came to do a friendly « rugbystic » visit to the XV. Facing such a great team, the XV’s defeat by 4 essays to 2 leaves the XV full of hope for the future.

            The 2007 World Cup

The 2007 Rugby world Cup will be the occasion for the XV to organize the parliamentarian World Cup scheduled in autumn 2007 in Paris. This event will allow the XV to meet its British, Portuguese, Argentinean, Rumanian and New- Zealander friends.

            A valuable team

The French team is composed of the following parliamentarians :

- Aymeri de MONTESQUIOU, Senator of the Gers, XV du Parlement’s captain

- Germinal PEIRO, deputy of the Dordogne

- Philippe FOLLIOT, deputy of the Tarn

- Gérard BAPT, deputy of Haute-Garonne

- Didier MIGAUD, deputy of the Isère

- Jacques GODFRAIN, deputy of the Aveyron

- Michèle ALLIOT-MARIE, Godmother of the XV.

The team is sometimes joined by others elected people when their schedule allows it, which is always appreciated.

The deputy of the PYRENEES-ATLANTIQUES, Michèle ALLIOT-MARIE  elected on the 7th of December 1999, President of the RPR, was received (the day of her election) as our team’s godmother by Laurent FABIUS, President of the National Assembly at the Hotel de LASSAY. Today the Defense Minister, she remains present for the team.

The 2 assemblies’s  functionaries represent the majority of the team.

The opening of the XV to external players enriched the team with some new nice and dynamic personalities.

            To conclude

As you have probably noticed , if the travels are incentived by games, the meetings’ conviviality remain an important aspect, whether it is on or off the field.

The XV spirit brings together sportive and cultural meetings all around the world, all around France too. It is every time a great pleasure to play, to meet people and to represent our institutions.