Graced by the presence of Toulon scrum-half Baptiste Serin and prominent members of the Monégasque rugby community, AS Monaco Rugby began 2023 with a signal of intent.
During Tuesday’s event in Monaco, there was an unshakeable feeling that the sport is on a positive trajectory. Serin, who has once captained the France national team, and the SuperSevens trophy, won by the Monaco Rugby Sevens late last year, were both in the same room as AS Monaco Rugby heralded a New year that holds a lot of promise.
Following their promotion to the Fédérale 2 last season, the club are currently on course to achieve their objective of ensuring their place of maintaining in the division for next season. However, the club’s president, Thomas Riqué, as well as the Monaco Rugby Federation are already setting their sights higher. Currently competing at the highest amateur level, the club are hoping to break into the professional game before too long.
Importantly, there is great support behind the sport in the Principality, and whilst it is the Sevens team that currently receive the accolades, the Principality’s Rugby Union side are hoping to follow in their wake towards success. Serin, who plays just down the coast at Toulon, lent his support to the club on Tuesday and explained why in an exclusive interview with Monaco Life.
Monaco Life: Can you explain your collaboration with AS Monaco Rugby and why you are giving your support to the club through your presence at this event?
Baptiste Serin: Last year, the president asked me to come to a partner evening but I hurt my shoulder and had to undergo an operation just a few days before so I couldn’t honour my presence. This year was a good opportunity to come and have a good time. We have all followed the Monaco Rugby Seven’s story so it was a great chance for me to give a nod to rugby in Monaco, also with AS Monaco Rugby’s promotion into the Fédérale 2.
Despite the Principality being famous for many other sports, do you nonetheless feel there is a positive momentum behind rugby in Monaco?
I come from Bordeaux so I know, like there, that it’s football, football, football. It’s good that rugby is beginning to develop. There are lots of people rallying around rugby in Monaco, supporting and encouraging it, which is good. I wanted to come and give a nod to what they are all doing, and to show that what the players are doing is good. Even if I’m not far, it’s not too many kilometres to Toulon, it’s important to be here.
Does the drop-off of neighbouring fallen giant Nice also give Monaco a bit more space to grow?
It’s nice to have more clubs in the region. There is Toulon, Nice, and Hyères Carqueiranne as well, and it’s important that there is space there for Monaco as well. It is a club that is growing and has a lot of strong people around the project. I feel as though there is momentum. Today there are important people here, and people that are investing their money to help the good grow so it’s good. I think they also have the support of many clubs around them.