Union Sportive des Arlequins Perpignanais generally referred to as USA Perpignan, is a French rugby union club that plays in the city of Perpignan in Pyrénées-Orientales in the south of France. The club currently competes in the Rugby Pro D2, the second level of the French league system, after being relegated from the Top 14 in 2019.
|Full name||Union sportive arlequins Perpignan-Roussillon|
|Ground(s)||Stade Aimé Giral (Capacity: 14,593)|
|League(s)||Rugby Pro D2|
|2018–19||Top 14, 14th (relegated)|
The club was founded in 1902 as AS Perpignan, renamed US Perpignan in 1919 and adopted its present name in 1933. Perpignan plays at Stade Aimé Giral (capacity 14,593). The club wears red and gold (Sang et Or = Blood and Gold) colours derived from the Catalan Senyera.
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The club was established in 1902 as AS Perpignan. It would be in 1914 that the club would go on to make its first ever final appearance. On 3 May, Perpignan defeated Stadoceste Tarbais 8–7 at Stade des Ponts Jumeaux in Toulouse in front of 15,000 people. 19-year-old fly-half Aimé Giral converted a late try and went on to become captain. 14 months after their victory, Aimé Giral died alongside seven other members of the team at the outbreak of WW1 and, to honour their sacrifice, it was decided to colour USAP jersey like a Poilu uniform and to name the stadium after Giral.
Four years after the championship in 1914, the club was renamed as US Perpignan. Under the new club name, US Perpignan made it to the final of the French championship three seasons after the change. On 17 April 1921, Perpignan defeated Stade Toulousain 5–0 at Parc des Sports de Sauclières in Béziers and thus claiming their second championship. Three seasons later, the finalists of 1921 would meet again in the final of 1924, though this time Toulouse won the game 3–0 in Bordeaux.
The success continued throughout the 1920s, and following the final defeat of the 1924 season, US Perpignan were able to make it to the final of the 1925 season. They faced US Carcassonne in Narbonne, and defeated them 5–0 to win the 1925 Championship. For the third season in a row, US Perpignan made it to the final. The opponents were Stade Toulousain once again, the two sides had each defeated each other once in a final in recent years. Toulouse won 11–0 in Bordeaux. After their prominence in the mid-1920s, Perpignan's final appearance in 1926 was their last for nearly a decade.
Perpignan's next final appearance came in 1935 against Biarritz at Stade des Ponts Jumeaux in Toulouse on the 12th of May, with Biarritz winning 3–0. That season they also won the Challenge Yves du Manoir. Three seasons later Perpignan were again involved in the Championship final against Biarritz. The final was played on 8 May, and this time, Perpignan defeated Biarritz, winning 11–6 to claim their first Championship since 1921. They were also runners-up of the Challenge Yves-du-Manoir that same season as well.
The success continued throughout the late 1930s, with Perpignan again being runners-up of the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1936. It was also the 1936 season that Biarritz and Perpignan would face off in the Championship. Both of Perpignan's last two final appearances were against Biarritz, and both Perpignan and Biarritz had won one each against each other. The final took place on 30 April, and Biarritz turned out to be victorious, defeating Perpignan 6–0. Two years later, Perpignan were in the final of the Challenge Yves du Manoir, but became runners-up.
Their next final appearance would not be until the season of 1944. Perpignan played Aviron Bayonnais at Parc des Princes in Paris on 26 March to decide who would be the champions of France. Perpignan won, defeating Aviron Bayonnais 20–5, claiming their first Championship since 1938.
Perpignan would have to wait another eight years until they would make it to the final again. In the 1952 season, Perpignan met FC Lourdes in the final at Stadium Municipal in Toulouse, where they went down to FC Lourdes 20–11. However, both sides would meet in another final three years later to decide the 1955 Championship. This time Perpignan emerged victorious, defeating FC Lourdes 11–6 in Bordeaux. Perpignan also won the Challenge Yves du Manoir during the 1955 season, and were runners-us the following year as well.
Perpignan won the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1965, but made their first final appearance 20 years after 1955, to decide the 1977 season Championship. They met AS Béziers in the final, who defeated Perpignan 12–4 at Parc des Princes. Perpignan won the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1994,
They would next appear in the final in 1998, where they went down to Stade Français 34–7 in Paris in front of 78,000 people.
In 2002, the club entered into a partnership with the University of Barcelona Rugby Union Club, hence renaming them USAP Barcelona, which compete in the División de Honor, the national Championship in Spain. Perpignan made it to the 2004 final, where they met Stade Français, who defeated them in the 1998 final. Stade Français won again, 38–20 at Stade de France in front of 79,722 people.
In European competition, Perpignan reached the final stage in 2003 (losing 21–17 to Toulouse in Dublin Lansdowne Road) after losing a 1999 semi-final in Toulouse Stadium against Colomiers. They were beaten in the quarter-finals in Lansdowne Road again in 2006 by eventual winners Munster.
They signed All Blacks fly-half Dan Carter, widely regarded as one of the world's best players, on a six-month deal starting from December 2008. Carter's stint at Perpignan, however, ended prematurely when he tore an Achilles tendon.
Their season ended by progressing into the Top 14 semi-final with a 25–21 win over Stade Français and eventually winning it with a fantastic 22–13 win over ASM Clermont Auvergne in the final. In 2010, they advanced to the final again against Clermont, but they saw Les Jaunards end decades of frustration by winning their first championship final in 11 tries.
In 2011 they signed a twinning agreement with FC Barcelona of Spain, which proposes USAP to be promoted through FC Barcelona.
- Top 14
- Champions: 1914, 1921, 1925, 1938, 1944, 1955, 2009 (7 times)
- Runners-up: 1924, 1926, 1935, 1939, 1952, 1977, 1998, 2004, 2010 (9 times)
- Challenge Yves du Manoir
- Champions: 1935, 1955, 1994 (3 times)
- Runners-up:1936, 1937, 1938, 1956, 1965 (5 times)
- Heineken Cup
- Runners-ups: 2003
- Pro D2
- Champions: 2018
|3 May 1914||AS Perpignan||Stadoceste Tarbais||8–7||Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse||15,000|
|17 April 1921||US Perpignan||Stade Toulousain||5–0||Parc des Sports de Sauclières, Béziers||20,000|
|27 April 1924||Stade Toulousain||US Perpignan||3–0||Parc Lescure, Bordeaux||20,000|
|3 May 1925||US Perpignan||AS Carcassonne||5–0||Maraussan, Narbonne||20,000|
|2 May 1926||Stade Toulousain||US Perpignan||11–0||Parc Lescure, Bordeaux||25.000|
|12 May 1935||Biarritz Olympique||USA Perpignan||3–0||Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse||23,000|
|8 May 1938||USA Perpignan||Biarritz Olympique||11–6||Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse||24,600|
|30 April 1939||Biarritz Olympique||USA Perpignan||6–0 AP||Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse||23,000|
|26 March 1944||USA Perpignan||Aviron Bayonnais||20–5||Parc des Princes, Paris||35,000|
|4 May 1952||FC Lourdes||USA Perpignan||20–11||Stadium Municipal, Toulouse||32,500|
|22 May 1955||USA Perpignan||FC Lourdes||11–6||Parc Lescure, Bordeaux||39,764|
|29 May 1977||AS Béziers||USA Perpignan||12–4||Parc des Princes, Paris||41,821|
|16 May 1998||Stade Français||USA Perpignan||34–7||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||78,000|
|26 June 2004||Stade Français||USA Perpignan||38–20||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||79,722|
|6 June 2009||USA Perpignan||ASM Clermont Auvergne||22–13||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||79,205|
|29 May 2010||Clermont Auvergne||USA Perpignan||19–6||Stade de France, Saint-Denis||79,262|
|24 May 2003||Stade Toulousain||USA Perpignan||22–17||Lansdowne Road, Dublin||28,600|
The current table for the 2019–20 Rugby Pro D2 is:
Pos = Position, Pl = Played, W = Won, D = Drawn, L = Lost, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, PD = Points Difference, TB = Try Bonus Points, LB = Losing Bonus Points, Pts = Points Total
Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final Promotion play-off places.
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final Promotion play-off places.
Red background relegation to Fédérale 1.
When two teams have the same points total, position is determined by head-to-head results before points difference.
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.
- (Catalan: Unió Esportiva Arlequins de Perpinyà)
- "USAP and Stade Aimé Giral". www.anglophone-direct.com. 2 May 2014.
- Pryor, Matthew (28 June 2008). "Dan Carter joins Perpignan". The Times. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
- "Classement PRO D2". Ligue Nationale de Rugby (in French). Retrieved 9 November 2019.
- "Perpignan - USAP". USA Perpignan (in French). Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "USAP communique" (Press release) (in French). USA Perpignan. 12 October 2017. Retrieved 15 October 2017.