Eighteenth chapter of the summary of the history of women's rugby in France, from the book "Rugger Girls"("Des Filles en Ovalie"), written by Jacques B. Corti and Yaneth Pinilla Foreword by Serge Betsen. Published weekly(ish) by French women's rugby blog Des Filles en Ovalie.
|France's twenty player squad prepares for the first FIRA|
The second European Championship - the first held since the women joined the FFR - took place in Treviso in 1995, and illustrates this lack of interest by federal authorities in, amongst others, the French team. "We knew that the European tournament would be held in Italy, but no information came from the Federation", recalls Bernard Marie-Céline. "Then, only three weeks before the competition, the FFR asked me to put together a team. I spent several days on the phone finding girls who were available. In the end I could not find 22 players so we went with 20."
So, between 12 and April 16, what was called the "First FIRA Women's European Championship" was played, a tournament that is now annual. The French finished second behind Spain's women*, who won the final 22-6. The following year the French took their revenge, winning the title in Madrid, beating the Spanish 15 to 10.
Extract from the book "Des Filles en Ovalie", Editions Atlantica (2005), Written by Jacques B. Corti / Yaneth Pinilla Foreword by Serge Betsen.
*Netherlands and Italy also took part in 1995. In 1996 the four teams were joined by Germany - Russia also entered, but withdrew at the last moment, resulting in a rather chaotic tournament!