Villeneuve Leopards

Villeneuve Leopards

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Villeneuve Leopards

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Description:
Villeneuve Leopards, translated from Léopards d'Aquitaine and sometimes known as Union Sportive Villeneuve, are a French rugby league club from the town of Villeneuve-sur-Lot in the département of Lot-et-Garonne. They play in the Elite One Championship.

History

Sport Athlétique Villeneuvois.13 (SAV.13) was founded during the last two weeks of May 1934. The majority of the Villeneuve rugby union team and members (CAV.15, led by French rugby union international Jean Galia switched to rugby league.

SAV.13 were the first to club to become a member of the Ligue Française de Rugby à 13 (LFR.13) on June 2, 1934. Villeneuve remain as the oldest rugby league club in France. SAV.13 became the first French side to tour England in September 1934.

Villeneuve won the inaugural French Rugby League Championship in the 1934-35 season. Having lost the 1936 Lord Derby Cup final they made amends in 1937 by defeating XIII Catalan.

Due to the banning of rugby league by the Vichy regime in 1940 SAV.13 switched to rugby union and were renamed Union Sportive Villeneuve.15 (USV.15). Towards the end of the Second World War the LFR.13 was re-established and rugby league returned to Villeneuve under the name USV.13.

Villeneuve became national champions again in 1959, 1964 and twice more in the early 1980s. They also lifted the Lord Derby Cup in 1958, 1964, 1979 and 1984. In 1998, USV.13 added the nickname "Les léopards d'Aquitaine".

Villeneuve experienced a glorious era from 1996 to 2003,...
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