Chairman of South Beach Rugby Five Marseille
By Valérie Rouger
© Philippe du Crest
As 2023 is the year France will host the XV rugby World Cup, Lionel Laugier lifts the veil on the too little-known sport of Beach Rugby. Withthe same Ovalie values of pleasure, passion, discipline, brotherhood and respect, it immediately appeals. This type of rugby is played with 5 players and has two categories: “contact » and « tackle ». Imagine the show on offer from the beginning of training sessions at the end of April to the last of the matches at the end of July! «This game comes from the traditional practices, of which we and our Italian friends were the precursors. I am a rugby player; when a match was cancelled one day, we took our ball onto the sand and discovered a new and fun way to play. Year after year, the structure and the rules were put in place, until the final design of this sport and the creation of the association in 2003. From the first Beach Rugby match in Marseille in 2001 until 2013 with the creation of the first women’s team, 7 EBRA European Championship titles have been celebrated. As it is attached to the solidarity that sport promotes, the club provides partnership support to various associations, by holding matches, sending invitations to competitions and financing projects. « For twenty years we have been privatizing a public beach and offering a free event which is open to everyone; we are all volunteers and the funds raised are for these associations. I am not interested in standing out, but would say yes to making teams and this sport stand out! My dream? That one day we become an Olympic sport like Beach Volleyball”.