Montpellier Hérault Rugby
Montpellier Hérault Rugby (French pronunciation: [mɔ̃pɛlje eʁo ʁyɡbi klœb, -pəl-]; Occitan: Montpelhièr Erau Rugbi Club) is a French professional rugby union club, based in Montpellier, Occitanie and named after the Hérault river. The club competes in the top level of the French league system, the Top 14. They originally played at Stade Sabathé (capacity 5,000) but moved to the Stade Yves-du-Manoir, later known as Altrad Stadium, and since renamed the GGL Stadium, in 2007. They wear white and blue.
|Full name||Montpellier Hérault Rugby|
|Nickname(s)||Les Cistes (The Cistuses)|
|Ground(s)||GGL Stadium (Capacity: 15,697)|
The club was established in 1986 through the merger of two other rugby union clubs, the Stade Montpelliérain and MUC Rugby.
In 1993 the club won the Challenge de l'Espérance.
In 2003 the club became the champion of France's second division national rugby league, the Pro D2. After finishing second in the league table at the end of the 2002–03 season, Montpellier advanced to the playoffs. They defeated Auch in the semi-finals and Tarbes in the finals to win promotion to the Top 14. The following season the club played for the European Shield, and contested the final. Played in May 2004, Montpellier defeated Italian club Viadana 25 points to 19 to win the Shield.
The club barely avoided relegation after the 2006–07 season. Winning only nine games during a twenty-six-game season, Montpellier found itself in a relegation position with only two games left to play. Thanks to a bonus-point victory in week 25, the team finished just four points ahead of Agen which was relegated to the Pro D2 at the end of the year.
After 2006–07, the club's fortunes began to improve. In June 2007, Fulgence Ouedraogo became the first Montpellier player to play on the French national rugby union team. That same summer the club's new stadium, the Stade Yves-du-Manoir (now GGL Stadium), opened. In 2007–08 Montpellier enjoyed its first winning season in the Top 14. The club made its next step up the table in 2010–11 when it unexpectedly finished sixth by a single point and made the Top 14 playoffs for the first time. The underdog squad defeated both Castres and Racing Métro to make the championship game where they were defeated 15–10 by Toulouse. Since that season, Montpellier has become a consistent playoff contender, finishing fifth in both 2011–12 and 2012–13 and second on the league table in 2013–14.
Thanks to the club's excellent 2010–11 showing, Montpellier was awarded its first spot in the Heineken Cup tournament for 2011–12. The club returned for the 2012–13 tournament and made the quarter-finals before being eliminated by Clermont. Montpellier returned for the final edition of the Heineken Cup in 2013–14, and are participating in the successor to the Heineken Cup, the European Rugby Champions Cup, in 2014–15.
In late November 2019, Montpellier were beaten by Connacht in the opening game of the Champions Cup pool stages.
|4 June 2011||Stade Toulousain||Montpellier Hérault RC||15–10||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||77,000|
|2 June 2018||Castres Olympique||Montpellier Hérault RC||29–13||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||79,441|
|21 May 2004||Montpellier Hérault RC||Viadana||25-19||Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma||2,553|
European Challenge CupEdit
|13 May 2016||Montpellier Hérault RC||Harlequins||26-19||Grand Stade de Lyon, Lyon||28.556|
|21 May 2021||Montpellier Hérault RC||Leicester||18-17||Twickenham, London||10.000|
|Club||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points for||Points against||Points diff.||Tries for||Tries against||Try bonus||Losing bonus||Points|
|2||La Rochelle (Q)||26||17||0||9||726||452||+274||79||41||6||4||78|
|4||Bordeaux Bègles (SF)||26||15||1||10||740||546||+216||78||41||7||3||72|
|6||Stade Français (QF)||26||15||0||11||701||622||+79||69||63||6||6||70|
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
|Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final play-off places and receive berths in the 2021–22 European Rugby Champions Cup.|
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final play-off places, and receive berths in the Champions Cup.
Yellow background (rows 7 and Montpellier) indicates teams outside the play-offs that also earn a place in the Champions Cup.
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2021–22 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Pink background (row 13) will qualify to the relegation play-offs.
Red background (row 14) will automatically be relegated to Rugby Pro D2.
Final table — source: 
Updated: 5 June 2021
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
Notable former playersEdit
- Savchuk, Katia (23 March 2015). "From Bedouin To Billionaire: Meet The Man Changing What It Means To Be French After Charlie Hebdo". Forbes. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
- "Connacht stun Montpellier". 17 November 2019.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-17. Retrieved 2016-05-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Effectif". Montpellier Hérault Rugby (in French). Retrieved 7 September 2019.
- (in French) Montpellier Hérault Rugby Club official website