Quebec Rugby Gets World Rugby Attention with Initiative to Send 20 Players to France to Play Professionally
It was a great initiative that caught the eye of World Rugby. They published the article on their French website, we made a modest effort to translate it to English (article appended below).
Basically Francois Ratier the Director of Rugby Quebec and Kevin Rouet, the coach of the Quebec team (and Laval University), put the plan in place to provide opportunities for up to 20 women to play for professional clubs in France.
It's an example of a provincial administrator going that extra step for the players and rugby development in their region. Well done to Francois and Kevin. List of Quebec players to France
Bordeaux: Stade Bordelais
Rennes: Stade Rennais
La Rochelle: Stade Rochelais
Andree-Ann Bouffard World Rugby article
translated to English
France, a land of welcome for Quebec women in search of rugby
In recent days, some twenty young players from Quebec have found a temporary home base in several French clubs. An original initiative while rugby is at a standstill until May 2021 in Canada, due to the pandemic.
Both literally and figuratively, several French women's rugby clubs will be focusing this season on Quebec. At the end of August, several players from Quebec have indeed crossed the Atlantic to settle temporarily in several regions of France.
There are about twenty of them divided between Stade Bordelais, Stade Rennais, Stade Rochelais, Lille and Lons. The previous season, there were only four Canadian women, including three from Quebec in France.
The initiative is credited to the duo François Ratier, general manager of Rugby Quebec, and Kevin Rouet, the coach of the Quebec team and Laval University.
“We were initially supposed to go on tour with the Quebec team in May and play against Clermont in Vichy, with our sponsor,” explains François Ratier. But the pandemic has changed plans and literally put rugby under heavy restrictions in Canada.
“It's in total slow motion. And since our season is between May and November, we couldn't even start. No international matches, no university championship in the fall, nothing ... We will have a whole year without playing,”, regrets the CEO of Rugby Quebec.
A MATTER OF CONTACTS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Thanks to the determination of these men and the desire to play by the women, frustration was quickly swept away by this genius idea: to import Quebec rugby to French cousins. Bordeaux was the first to knock on Quebec's door to offer it the deal in May.
“Between rugby, university, the sports project and everything that revolves around it, it was a great package,” appreciates Ratier, too happy to export the value and image of Quebec rugby. It must also be said that the team he oversees is the provincial champion and the university champion.
Kevin Rouet activated his contacts with other clubs and the case was over. Bordeaux, like the other clubs which have joined the project, can only benefit from the potential of the players and emerge as winners from this operation which only asks to be perpetuated.
Various benefits, housing, part-time employment, studies... Canadian women discover the comfort of playing in a so-called professional league, especially as some clubs also offer a monthly bonus.
Training has already started and, if all goes well, the season should resume in September in France. The women will stay there until May 2021 at the most, when rugby should finally resume in Canada.