Who are we ?

All passionate …

Organising the 1st World Tournament of School Rugby for boys and girls, in France, in a village in Loir-et-Cher, within a thousand-year-old abbey… It was initially an idea as unexpected as it was daring. The international scale of the event, its educational and sporting ambitions as well as the values ​​defended deserved a solid organization.

The “Heritage Pontlevoy” association was created specifically to carry out this project. It brings together volunteers, men, and women of experience, assisted by former students of the Lycée de Pontlevoy

The enthusiastic welcome and the official support of the territory’s political actors, rugby bodies, not to forget to mention the companies that join us, reinforce our mission every day during the Rugby Heritage Cup Pontlevoy 2023®: to transmit audacity to young people from the 5 continents, the desire to undertake great things!

It’s rugby time. Let’s live it together to make it a success !

Thierry chenet, president of the Heritage Pontlevoy association and François Roche-Bayard, co-organiser of the Rugby Heritage Cup

Renowned sponsors

What an honour and what a pleasure to have by our side such an inspiring rugby woman and two great rugby men from both the female and male French teams! The respective records of Safi N’diaye, Daniel Dubroca and Philippe Sella prove their value on the pitch. But beyond that, these three players embody the values ​​of rugby. Role models throughout their careers, they are still committed today to answer the call when it comes to engaging with younger generations. Each of them tells us why they chose to support our event.


Philippe SELLA

Position: outside center, n°13

111 caps (1st French player to exceed 100 caps in this position)

5 times winner of the V nations tournament

Grand Slam winner of the V Nations Tournament in 1987

Twice winner of France Rugby 15 championship.

“Even before coming to Pontlevoy, I said ‘YES!’ to the Rugby Heritage Cup because the notion of transmission speaks to me. As a young person, we often have role models who stimulate our desire to replace them one day. My idol was Jean-Pierre Rives, “the blond hair”, and he still is.

And then also, for 6 years, my club coach in Clairac.

A bit shy, more at ease outside than in a classroom, athletics and rugby helped me gain self-confidence.

Alongside family and education, sport brings a complement of life. Especially associative sport with the work of its volunteers, all the experiences that allow you to learn how to be.

Every day, I thank this oval ball which has opened so many doors for me and given me a guide for living well together. Supporting the 1st World Tournament of School Rugby goes in the same direction as the “Les Enfants de l’Ovale” association that I created with friends to help young girls and boys in France, Madagascar and 5 African countries to grow well thanks to the triptych: rugby, tutoring, health.

The values ​​of rugby, the pleasure of the field and human relations, I have lived them and I still want to pass them on. I will therefore put my energy and my international rugby network at the service of the Rugby Heritage Cup 2023.”


Position: 2nd or 3rd row

91 national team caps

6 France Rugby women’s 15s championship with Montpellier and
2 France Rugby women’s 15s championship with Castres
3 participations to the Rugby World Cup and 2 Grand Slams in the women’s 6 Nations rugby tournament

« Accepting to be a sponsor of the Rugby Heritage Cup, is first promoting Rugby and I’m so pleased to do it because it is a mixed tournament with girls and boys ! Nowadays female rugby has its full legitimacy within the Rugby world. Moreover if the French Federation of Rugby (FFR) sees its licensees increasing it is mainly due to the fact that more and more young girls enroll and practice rugby in clubs as at schools.
The educational ambition of the RHC also echoes my experience. As an educator in ITEP*, I have used this sport as a tool with young people in difficulty, to help them acquiring courage, team spirit, responsibility… behaviors that are so precious because they demand a lot of efforts. The MHR (Montpellier Hérault Rugby club) has even organised the French ITEP championship twice and gathered 600 young people over 3 days. What will happen in Pontlevoy therefore speaks to me directly.
Unforgettable for children, the event will also be positive for their supervisors who will be able to share their best practices among 20 nations.
In the past, coaches gave me useful benchmarks for my whole life: a taste for collective , a sense of self-sacrifice, solidarity, etc. As soon as I can, I engage with associations to return what I have learned or what has been given to me. So, if the names of champions can create passion for rugby and make the eyes of young people shine, that would be so rewarding! »

* Therapeutic, Educational and Pedagogical Institute



Position: hooker

33 caps 

24 times captain of the French National rugby team

Coach of the French National rugby team

Grand Slam winner of the V Nations Tournament in 1987

“I spontaneously agreed to be a sponsor of the Rugby Heritage Cup. But from the launching ceremony, we entered another dimension. Already by the presence and support of the president of the FFR, the director of the Rugby World Cup France 2023 and the elected officials of the region. Then thanks to the extraordinary enthusiasm and motivation of the young people who demonstrated their desire to participate in the creation of this event. From everyone, the response is stronger than one could imagine. It is enormous!

I also can’t resist to draw a parallel with my own experience. In 1987, I was captain of the French National rugby team during the 1st Rugby World Cup. At the time, still amateurs, a bit adventurous, we reached the final against the New Zealanders at Eden Park. In 2023, the 1st World Tournament of School Rugby will take place in Pontlevoy! An unprecedented, generous, unifying event. This time again the enthusiasm will be at the rendezvous.

And the 4 Fantastics with us


4 Rugby world Cups and also 4 legendary captains of their respective National rugby teams fully sponsor the educational event of the Rugby Heritage Cup, from left to right: François Pienaar (South Africa 1995), David Kirk (New-Zealand 1987), John Eales(Australia 1991,1999), Daniel Dubroca (France 1987), all acknowledged the educational role played by rugby in their self-fulfillment as great leaders today.  

David KIRK encourages us

Our Team

“Our “XV” is made up of volunteers who are passionate about rugby and united by educational values. Alongside us are 150 former students of the Lycée de Pontlevoy, enthusiastic boys and girls, ready to get involved.

Organized into committees, we put our skills and our energy at the service of this event to make it a magical moment for all the children present.


François Roche-Bayard


Read more

Entrepreneur and president of the Pontlevoy’s abbey endowment fund

Entrepreneurship, people relationships and rugby are at the heart of François’ life. Coach of the Pontlevoy rugby teams, he likes this idea that a coach must be… a driver! A bit passionate, his motto: ” Let’s promote rugby for girls and everywhere in schools”.



Brigitte Chasles


Read more

Former manager at EDF

Mother, stepmother and grandmother of rugby men and rugby women, Brigitte is immersed in rugby. And as one of her grandsons will be of age to participate in the Rugby Heritage Cup, she will also be a fervent supporter. Figures being her area of ​​expertise, she takes care of the administrative and financial aspect of the event.



Thierry Chenet


Read more

Former Marketing Director 

Football player until he was 20, Thierry then discovered the happiness of the 2nd row… except for his ears! His only regret ? Not having gone through the rugby school, school of life.

Wherever his professional activities have taken him, he has been an under-12 rugby coach, including in Germany and the Netherlands.



Valérie François


En savoir plus

Professeur des écoles

Tombée petite dans la marmite du rugby, Valérie n’en est jamais ressortie ! Deux garçons rugbymen, 6 ans présidente de l’école de rugby de son village, organisatrice d’un tournoi réunissant jusqu’à 1400 enfants de 6 à 15 ans, supportrice acharnée des équipes de France.



Cyprien Mérand


Read more

Business school student, specializing in business sport

Cyprien has wonderful memories of his 3 years of high school at Pontlevoy boarding school, which he considers to be… his second home! The magic of the rugby spirit has a lot to do with it. A member of the college rugby team, he also coached secondary school pupils. Its current mission: mobilize as many alumni as volunteers, keep them involved and direct them to the commissions where they will be most relevant. All are proud to be associated with the organisation and to making their school shining



Marie-Caroline Guillaumat


Read more

 In charge of nature workshops in Pontlevoy’s college

“From a family of girls, Marica was unaccustomed to scratches and was far from considering rugby as a sport for her children. Yet they all got involved… so much so that one almost sleeps with his ball! Conquered by this unifying sport, it is as a team that she progresses to create the RHC shop for the event. The products are selected so that adults and children can find “the” goody that suits them. “



Hervé François


Read more

R&D Director Andros Ultra-Fresh

Hervé owes his passion for the oval ball to the exploits of Barry John, Phil Bennett, Richard Astre and Jo Maso. As for him, he got much fun from a “career” as a school, university and club player. He also spent quite a few years as a coach at a rugby school and remains an unconditional supporter of our national teams.



Nicolas Gaté


Read more

Project manager delegated by Campus France 2023

Passionate about rugby since he was 5 years old, Nicolas has been a player, coach, sports and health trainer. This common thread is guiding his entire career during which he has managed the organisation of many events. Today, his participation in the Rugby Heritage Cup organizing committee finds its full meaning.



Luc Préaud


Read more

Project manager delegated by Campus France 2023

Passionate about rugby since he was 5 years old, Nicolas has been a player, coach, sports and health trainer. This common thread is guiding his entire career during which he has managed the organisation of many events. Today, his participation in the Rugby Heritage Cup organizing committee finds its full meaning.



Dr Jean-Loup Hadjadj


Read more

Doctor of the medical department of the National Rugby Center

During his university studies and then throughout his career, Jean-Loup never stopped crossing paths with rugby. By playing, but also by supporting educational institutions in their practice of rugby.

A passionate promoter of women’s rugby, he is convinced of the benefits of this sport for the individual development of men and women.



Théodore de Saint Rémy


Read more

Sales Director at SCOLAREST

He walked the pitch as a 2nd line for 20 great years. Today Théodore keeps one foot on the green field with 10–11-year-old kids from Normandy and an eye on professional rugby with his #packdepotes podcast. Committed to catering through his profession, he is passionate about “event buffet”. His mission is well suited for the RHC!



Olivier Villeneuve


Read more

Technology teacher

Coming from a family of rugby players, Oliver could only play… rugby! As he is fully engaged in what he does, in parallel with his professional career, he has obtained all his federal certificates.  Coach of a regional club and secondary school students of Pontlevoy, he puts all his energy at the service of this collective sport.



Éric Assaraf


Read more

Director of a consulting and training company    

Number 15 in his youth, Éric is currently president of a rugby club, educator for the under-14s and coach of a mixed 5-a-side rugby team. His pride: having succeeded in giving a passion for rugby to his 2 daughters.



Xavier Léone


Read more

Founder of XLimages

A fine observer of the world around him, this former high-level athlete is passionate about sport… especially when it allows you to surpass yourself. As proof, Xavier was a soldier in the Special Forces. He has also worked in audiovisual production, oriented towards extreme sports. His leitmotif: to convey through images the human values ​​that are essential for the well-being of all. This will be his mission during the Rugby Heritage Cup.



Lionel Guênerie


Read more

Director of the Kubilai communication agency

Even if he has never practiced it, for Lionel, rugby represents the quintessence of team sport. He readily compares the construction of a match to that of a cathedral. From the foundations to the spire, every stone is essential. As in a team where, from the props to the full-back, each player participates to reach the extra mile and score the try.



Valérie Gaudelas


Read more

Communications officer at Telmah

Within our team, Valérie is the lookout who ensures that each commission stays on course. As for rugby, she is mainly interested in it through her functions within Telmah, an endowment fund which promotes access to sport for disabled people. The RHC will therefore also be an opportunity to raise awareness about para-sport among young people from around the world and to make room for wheelchair rugby within the event.



Etienne Guillaumat


Read more

Director of hunting and forest management at the national domain of Chambord

A career soldier, it was being on duty for 11 years in the cherished of rugby, in the south-west, that Etienne learned to appreciate this sport. Commitment, cohesion, courage, team spirit… so many values ​​that resonate strongly with a military engagement.

From the world of national defense to that of security, there is only one step. Étienne will therefore oversee the security of the site and of the people so that everything goes well during the tournament.



Lorraine Bôle du Chaumont


Read more


With a family and friendly rugby fan entourage, Lorraine could only get into the game. She lends her pen to the members of the RHC team to put into words the many facets of the event.


The Abbey an exceptional educational place


The first stone of Pontlevoy Abbey was laid in 1034! Of course, it has not always been as you discover it, because in 1000 years its buildings have been transformed.On the other hand, over time, one thing has never changed: here, you are in a place of teaching and transmission.

Having successively been a monastic school, a boarding school, a Royal Military College, a learning and training centre, since 2019, it has once again hosted a secondary school and a high school.

In the 21st century, these educational experiences continue and are reinvented

The Abbey in figures

  • 1 of the oldest education sites in Europe;
  • 800 pupils, boys and girls aged 11 to 18;
  • 2 boarding schools (one for girls and one for boys);
  • 80% young people from the region
  • 20% of young people from all over France.

A region rich in history

The tournament will take place in the center of France, in the county of Loir-et-Cher and benefits from prestigious support

“Previously custodian of the Abbey of Pontlevoy, my family is delighted to see school rugby associated with it, a discipline synonymous with commitment, sharing, and solidarity. A privileged way to approach the excellence that we must pass on to our children.”

Charles-Antoine de Vibraye, owner of the Château de Cheverny

“Access to culture for all and to education are part of the essential missions of the National Estate of Chambord. That is the reason why, beyond geographical proximity, there is also proximity in the objectives set by the Rugby Heritage Cup.”

Jean d’Haussonville, Managing Director