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A History of Racing Métro 92

January 19, 2022 2 min read

Playing rugby in a great city like Paris is the envy of many rugby players, especially for a club like Racing 92. The Club famously hosted the first sevens tournament outside of Scotland and has a long rich history.

Racing 92 was founded by the charismatic Georges De Villiers in 1882. Racing was born as a multi-sports club, concerned with other sports than rugby, but after moving to Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, Racing became more involved in the business of rugby.

A strong rivalry was built up between Racing Club and Stade Français in the years before WWII.

After the war, Racing moved to Suresnes, into what is now Stade Sébastien Charlety.

The name "Racing 92" was born in June 1990 when the Stade-Celestins and Racing Club de France merged to form what now is Racing Métro 92. Jean-Pierre Rives, who would become one of the greatest French rugby players ever, was selected by popular vote as the emblematic figure of the new team. The choice was logical, since Rives had already played for both clubs; he even played his last match in 1991 against New Zealand at the age of 40.

Unfortunately for the club, the professional era had begun and spending money on rugby players was not at all a priority. In 2000, four years after his election as president, Jacky Lorenzetti took over the club. By that point, Racing was in serious debt and had just been demoted to the 2rd division because of its financial problems. Lorenzetti immediately invested massively into the team, signing players like Thomas Castaignède, Anton Oliver or Marc Lièvremont.

In 2007–08, Racing finished second on the ladder ProD2 to equally ambitious Toulon, but fell short of promotion with an extra-time loss to Mont-de-Marsan in the Pro D2 promotion playoff final. The following year saw Racing's ambitions realised with a romp to the Pro D2 crown, clinching promotion with four rounds to spare.

Racing's success on the pitch was mirrored by its expansion off it, with two new modern structures built. The first one is the Jean-Bouin Stadium , with a capacity of 20 424 seats (24 529 including standing places), which opened in 2008. In 2017 Racing moved to Paris La Défense Arena, after winning their first Top14 in the professional era in 2016. Dan Carter and Johan Goosen both slotted penalties for the Paris club that day.

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