• en
  • fr
© Stéphane Danna / Direction de la Communication

In 2019, Monaco successfully embarked on rugby 7s. French champion in 2022 (and runner-up in 2021), Monaco Rugby Seven a French runner-up title in 2021 lost in the semi-finals in 2023.

Rugby has carved out a great place for itself in the Principality. Established in 1964, AS Monaco Rugby is the country’s ambassador for rugby union. The club currently plays in France’s Fédérale 2 league and has more than 300 members, thanks in part to its rugby school. Monaco also has a national federation, which is a member of the international federation, and even had a national team between 1996 and 2009. In 2002, Monaco scored a 90–0 victory over Finland.

In recent years, the Principality has also poured its hopes into rugby sevens, with the goal of securing its place among European nations. This young sport, which has millions of fans around the world, joined the Olympic family at the 2016 Games, giving smaller nations the opportunity to make their mark (Fiji won its first ever Olympic medal in the sport).

Having hosted the World Rugby Sevens Olympic qualifying tournament in 2016, the Louis II Stadium took up the baton again when it was the venue for the World Rugby Sevens Repechage in 2021. This tournament was, for 24 men’s and women’s teams, the final chance to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Established in 2019, the Monaco Rugby Sevens team participated in the first professional rugby sevens championship in France, the SuperSevens. The project was led by Frédéric Michalak, who holds the record for points scored in a French team. The winner of two Grand Slams with the French national team, four European Cups and two Brennus Shields is now the Secretary General of Monaco Rugby Sevens.

The professional club with its red-and-white logo quickly achieved results: having been the runners-up in the French championship in 2021, the Monaco Rugby Sevens team were crowned champions in 2022. This makes them the second Monegasque team to secure a national title, after AS Monaco Football Club, which has won the French championship eight times. Coached by Jérémy Aicardi, the Monegasque team has competed in seven finals over the eight tournaments held as part of the French SuperSevens championship.

The club’s performance has been hailed by Prince Albert II, who received the team at the Prince’s Palace. The head of state was presented with a signed jersey in the presence of Frédéric Michalak. Monaco Rugby Sevens expects to retain its title and deliver great performances on the international stage, having been invited to compete in the European Cup.

The club failed to repeat this feat in 2023, eliminated in the semi-finals by the French Barbarians.

© Michael Alesi / Direction de la Communication

« The role of Monaco Rugby Sevens is also to engage on a social and societal level with Burkina Faso as well as other cities and clubs to help with equipment and training, various things enabled by the power of sport, like helping some young people to reach further. »

Frédéric Michalak, Secretary General of Monaco Rugby Sevens, in Monaco-Matin

Monaco has a second Rugby Sevens team, the Impis (meaning Warriors in Zulu). Started by the Princess Charlene Foundation, the team won the historic Melrose Tournament in 2023, in its first year competing. Melrose, where Rugby Sevens was invented, has since held a tournament which is a renowned part of the Scottish season, bringing together the top European teams, such as the British Army and the Samurai.

Whether in a simple coincidence or a sign of fate, the British inventor of modern rugby is buried next to Monaco. According to legend, it was William Webb Ellis who, while a pupil at Rugby School, is alleged to have picked up the ball with his hands and run with it during a folk football match in 1823, establishing the rules of a new team sport. Ellis’s grave at Vieux-Château cemetery in Menton is today a place of pilgrimage for rugby fans…

Frédéric Michalak, who is also an ambassador for the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France, visited to pay tribute to the memory of Webb Ellis, for whom the award presented to the winning team of the Rugby Union World Cup is named.

Learn more
AS Monaco Rugby

Official Website