Historic Rugby Europe Championship Finals concludes with a record-breaking day in Paris

Historic Rugby Europe Championship Finals concludes with a record-breaking day in Paris

The Rugby Europe Championship 2024 culminated with a historic Finals day in Stade Jean Bouin, Paris on Sunday, March 17, featuring 8 teams from across Europe in four matches, in the heart of the French capital at the home of Stade Français. This was the first time Rugby Europe had organised an event of this size.  

A historic first 

For the first time in the history of Rugby Europe, four official international XV matches were played on the same field on the same day. Thanks to the artificial turf at the Stade Jean Bouin, kick-offs took place from 12:00 p.m. for the relegation match until the grand final at 9:00 p.m – which saw Georgia win their 16th European title, the 7th Championship in a row. From a sporting perspective, 27 tries were scored with a total of 206 points on the day. 

A fan success 

Launched at the end of December, the event was a success with rugby fans, who flocked to the stands throughout the day to reach an attendance of over 8,000 people for the final. 

A large part of the fans came from REC participating countries, either supporters who traveled specially for the event or communities based in France. The finals also attracted other populations, such as the British supporters present in France this weekend, or more broadly French rugby fans who discovered the richness of European rugby.  

Overall, REC 2024 showed an increased attendance of 15% in-stadia. Over 80.000 spectators attended the 20 games of the competition with some records in Belgium (4.600 spectators for the game against Portugal), Germany (5.400 in Dessau for Georgia game) or Portugal (8.000 in Lisbon for the semi-final against Spain).  

An unprecedented Coverage 

Continuing from the previous days of the competition, the finals broke audience and media coverage records. The final day was broadcast in more than 150 countries thanks to RugbyPassTV and Rugby Europe TV (World Feeds). Returning TV broadcasters Sport TV (POR), Ziggo (NED) and Imedi & RugbyTV (GEO) were joined by newcomers Movistar (ESP) and ProSieben (GER). Sport TV and Imedi provided specific pitch side coverage on site to cover the event throughout the day. 

In France, the evening session (Bronze and Grand Final) was broadcast live on RMC Sport Twitch and YouTube channels, commented by Mike Tadjer, the former Portuguese international - an opportunity to publicize the competition among of a younger target. More than 33,000 viewers enjoyed the evening and the French commentaries provided by RMC. 

On site, 70 media outlets were accredited for the event – photographers, journalists, TV, content creators took turns on site to cover the event. Hundreds of articles online and in print have been generated from the finals,  

On digital platforms, the content produced throughout the event reached new heights. 

The Rugby Europe Website saw a 20% increase in users from last year’s competition, breaking all-time records, despite more geo-blocking in some of the participating countries as new broadcasters joined the party this year. Rugby Europe TV saw 16.5k new subscribers join the platform throughout the competition. 

4.6 million video views on social were generated on finals day, taking the event to over 11m views across the five weeks of competition, Instagram was a key growth platform with 10k new followers added.  

Successful collaborations were made with various French rugby influencers to help promote the event in addition of Rugby bodies World Rugby, EPCR, FFR, LNR and Ligue IDF who all supported the event on social media. 

There was also a successful launch of the ‘Badge of Honor’ activation with The RugbyDAO and POAP Studios where over 1.3k collected theirs, with prizes and digital collectables also available to the fans.  

A celebration of international rugby in Rugby Europe’s 90th Anniversary  

This event was intended to be the celebration of European rugby highlighting the competition and the participating nations of the Rugby Europe Championship. 

It was also the opportunity to celebrate the 90th anniversary of FIRA (Fédération Internationale du Rugby Amateur), the original name of Rugby Europe (renamed in 2014). 

On this occasion, many international rugby authorities were present for this anniversary: John Jeffrey (World Rugby Vice-Chairman), Dominic Mc Kay (EPCR Chairman), Florian Grill (FFR President), Emmanuel Eschalier (LNR CEO), Qais Aldhalai (Rugby Asia President) and Abdelaziz Bougja (Rugby Africa Honorary President). Representatives of 23 member federations of Rugby Europe also took part in this party and attended the matches. 

This anniversary was the perfect occasion to honor previous administrators of Rugby Europe. Jean-Claude Baquet,  José-Maria Epalza, Bernard Jargeac, Jean-Louis Barthez and Jean-Jacques Zander, with the last two attending the event, received a special 90th anniversary plate. 

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