French rugby league system

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The major national club competition in France is the Elite one championship, below this is the Elite two championship and a number of regional leagues. The teams in each competition will change each year depending on final standings and relegation / promotion.

There is no set structure for promotion and relegation. If a club wants to go up or down a level then they will consult the Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII who will make the decision.

French clubs can also apply to the Rugby Football League for a European Super League franchise.


  • Super League
  • Championship
  • Elite One
  • Elite Two
  • National Division (East and West)
  • Federal Leagues

Super League

Catalans Dragons are France's only representatives in the otherwise British Super League. They were awarded a place in Super League on a franchise basis, there is no automatic promotion and relegation between Super League and French domestic leagues.

Other teams such as Toulouse Olympique may join Super League in future.


Toulouse Olympique is currently in its second stint in The Championship, a predominantly English competition.

They first played at the Championship level in the 2009 season. This was part of a long-term strategy to secure a future Super League franchise (potentially from 2012). However, the club chose not to pursue a Super League licence at that time, and returned to the French system after the 2011 British season. They returned to the British league system in 2016, this time starting out in the third-tier League 1. Olympique earned promotion to the Championship at the first opportunity.

Elite One Championship

There are 10 French rugby league teams playing in the Elite One Championship, the top tier of rugby league in France above the Elite Two Championship.

Elite Two Championship

The Elite Two Championship is the second tier of rugby league in France below the Elite One Championship, but above the National Division East and West. There are nine teams playing in Elite 2 in 2008.

Elite 2 was created in 2007 and replaced National League One, divided two pools East and West, as the second tier. Elite 2 was intended to bridge the gap between the top division and the rest of the clubs.

National Division 1

The National Division is the third tier of French rugby league. It is normally divided into two equal divisions East and West. However, in 2008 it is a single pool of 11 teams

Federal Leagues

There are several regional leagues below the National Division 1. In 2008 there are the following 6:

  • Île-de-France/Pays de la Loire
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
  • Rhône-Alpes
  • Languedoc-Roussillon (2 pools)
  • Midi-Pyrénées
  • Aquitaine





Elite One Championship
(Elite One Championship)
12 clubs – 1 relegations


Elite Two Championship
(Elite Two Championship)
12 clubs – 1 promotions, 2 relegations


National Division 1
(National Division 1)
14 clubs – 2 promotions, 2 relegations


(All divisions run in parallel)

  • Île-de-France/Pays de la Loire
  • Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
  • Rhône-Alpes
  • Languedoc-Roussillon (2 pools)
  • Midi-Pyrénées
  • Aquitaine

See also


External links

  • Google map - Elite One Championship teams
  • Google map - Elite Two Championship teams
  • Google map - National Division East teams
  • Google map - National Division West teams
  • Google map - Federal Leagues teams
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