USAP’s cross-town, cross-code rivals, Catalans Dragons of rugby league’s engage Super League made a highly successful venture in playing a ‘home’ game in the Catalans capital, Barcelona, which drew 18,000 spectators to the Olympic Stadium on July 20th (double the Dragons home gate).
USAP were crowned Fench champions last season, lifting Bouclier de Brennus for the fist time in 44 years and are now targeting European success.
Chairman Paul Goze told Midi Olympique:
“Last season we won the Top 14 and I think the club is getting mentally stronger.
“If we qualify for the Heineken Cup quarter-final or semi-finals we might be able to host a game in Barcelona. In the South of Catalan region people are very interested in the Heineken Cup in particular because of their soccer culture and the importance placed in the European Cups.”
The city of Perpignan is benefiting from the pre-eminint position of both codes of rugby, which draws a steady throughput of sports’ tourist capital into the local economy. And whilst the rivalry between the two rugby codes is a passionate one, there is little doubt that the city is an attractive destination for the British rugby fan; especially with the cheap rate flights on offer from budget airlines.