More than 250 Midlands pupils will  tomorrow say: "Bonjour" to undergraduate students from the region when the University of Birmingham hosts a French and rugby tournament. 

On 19 October – the day before the Rugby World Cup final in Paris - year 9 pupils from 11 schools will join undergraduates of French for La Coupe de l’Ovalie event, to be held at Birmingham's Edgbaston campus.

Cheered on in French by their supporters, the teams will battle for the coveted Coupe de l’Ovalie in a tag rugby tournament.  As well as the chance to win the cup and meet a French rugby player, there will also be a competition for the best French banner wielded by enthusiastic supporters and a prize-draw for a French rugby quiz.

Event organiser, Sonja Bernhard, from the university's Centre for European Languages and Culture said: "L‘Ovalie is what the French call the south-west of their country, the heartland of French rugby. It is also the term for the rugby enthusiasts’ 'oval universe' in general. What better name to adopt for a tournament that aims to unite the love of rugby with the love of the French language?

"With all the excitement surrounding the World Cup final, the timing of this tournament couldn't be more appropriate. We hope this event will attract lovers of rugby and French. It's the perfect match," she added.

The event is made possible by the generous support of the Rugby Football Union, University Sport Birmingham and the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust.

For more information on the Coupe please contact Sonja Bernhard on 0121 414 2564,  email:


Media Information: Anna Dingley, Press Officer: 0121 415 8134/07769 952763, email