Founded in 2011, the association is entering its tenth season on the French rugby sevens circuit. The opportunity to take stock of the year that has just passed and plans for the future.
Between Toulouse and Montpellier, Balma and Jacou, Esprit Sud Sevens is establishing itself in the regional rugby landscape. For ten years now, in a region fed by rugby, the co-presidents Gustavo Armijo and Olivier Dussaut, the vice-president Jérémy Angles and the general manager Maxime Castell have not stopped working for the development of the now Olympic discipline.
With the sanitary conditions and the end of competitions almost a year ago to the day, ESS could not recover from a complicated first ten months in 2020 with a cancellation of Med Sevens, their flagship tournament in Béziers.
Group Men’s team: Elie Jeune, Alban Maurel, Vincent Ferrer, Axel Callier, Loic Lucien, Axel Jauze, Dorian Meillon, Paolo Ianelli, Antoine Lalouni, Zackary Khoumchane, Thomas Dubuis, Yamba Aboubacar, Paul-Amaury Desanglois, Clément Ranza.
Women’s team: Emma Cardoso, Melany Vidal, Chloé Gutel, Anais Sebilleau, Emma Pasin, Anne-Lyse Niard, Zelia Drappier, Cerise Moulin, Ophely Vanel, Lou Rouchausse, Clara Feral, Camille Bourdeuil, Chloé Boulanger.
Women’s team: Belgium, Germany, Rugban 7, 7 Fantastics, 7 Saloperies, Sevens Sud Garonne, Esprit Sud Sevens.
Fortunately, it was able to take place this summer. “We were able to organize the Med Sevens this summer,” says Maxime Castell, “although there weren’t as many teams as in a normal edition.” An event organized two weeks apart with a second tournament, in Balma (the Spring Sevens), HQ of the Flamingos in the Toulouse suburbs.
“It was a feat to organize these two tournaments a few days apart and gave us some difficulties but the main thing was to find the land,” admits the general manager. In addition to these two tournaments organized by the association, the 60 or so licensed players were also able to participate in a tournament in Andorra where the girls finished on the podium while the boys were content with a 9th place.
For its 10th anniversary, Esprit Sud Sevens has launched a crowdfunding campaign. “To mark the occasion, we want to participate in the Dubai tournament, which is the first stage of the World Sevens Series and where the best players in the world will be present, details Castell. We want to go with our two groups (female and male). “
On December 3 and 4, ESS will face teams from all over the world, divided into fifteen divisions, and will be able to compete at the World Cup, while it regularly plays in Continental on the European circuit, whose first stage will be held in Jacou, the 5 and February 6 (Winter Sevens). With Sevens Mondays, relaunched in August on the lawns of Jacou and Balma (three Mondays out of four), the association can now rely on five teams.
“In addition to the male and female Elite, we have a development team (male), an Open team (female amateur) and finally a U19 team”, welcomes the director who, with the approach of the season and the national circuit , four tournaments for boys, three for girls, set goals with ambition.
“I think we have to be in the top 5 with the girls, on the other hand, I think the boys have the potential to make it into the top 3,” he concludes. It starts this weekend with the Howard Hinton tournament in Tours. A tournament to negotiate well, on Halloween weekend, so as not to be scared.