From the stadium to the branch: when rugby men become bankers

Combining a career as a world-class rugby player with a career at Societe Generale group has proved to be a winning formula for several players since rugby became a professional sport in 1995. We take a look at some of the unstoppable team players who helped to build and maintain the culture of rugby within the Group.

In August 1995 and following the overwhelming success of the Rugby World Cup in South Africa, rugby's international governing bodies open the game to professional players. A major turning point for a sport which, until then, had fiercely guarded its amateur status and values. Rather than rest on the benches, Societe Generale is quick to take its place in the front row to accompany this change for as long as the image of rugby remains consistent with its own values of Team Spirt, Innovation, Commitment and Responsibility.

Hence the Group's decision to build closer ties with the French Rugby Federation and to sponsor the French National League since its creation in 1995. Better yet, unlike its competitors, has also been the proud employer of a number of international players such as the Australian Nick Farr Jones in Sydney, the Irish fullback Jim Staples and the French centre Thomas Castaignède in London, Jérôme Cazalbou and Yannick Jauzion in Toulouse, and forgetting Fabien Galthié and Sylvain Marconnet in Paris. All talented and charismatic players who have been able to successfully tackle both their professional and sporting careers thanks to tailored working contracts to suit both "teams" and get their foot on a different ladder. A way for them to prepare their professional reconversion and to pass on the values of constantly raising the bar, trust, teamwork and commitment that rugby embodies, whether amateur  or professional.

© Gil Lefauconnier - © Patrick Derewiany - © Philippe Zamora - From the left to the right: Nick Farr Jones, Thomas Castaignède, Jérôme Cazalbou, Yannick Jauzion, Fabien Galthié, Sylvain Marconnet