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The founder of France’s first gay rugby team was honored before the first game of the Rugby World Cup on September 8 in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. Leroy posted on Instagram that the French Rugby Federation (Fédération Française de Rugby) named Cyril Leroy, founder of Les Galliards, the official ball carrier for the match. The role is largely ceremonial, but it’s nonetheless significant. He said, “The FFR wants to show it’s serious about all forms of diversity, not just LGBTQ+. I’ve been chosen for this game, and others have been invited to be ball carriers for later matches.” Leroy told Outsports, “It’s a big symbol, We’ll have the opening ceremony, and President Macron and other dignitaries will be in the stadium, so I’m really pleased.” In 2002, he founded Les Galliards — the name means tough guys. Rugby has been his favorite sport since his childhood. He said “I really wanted to play, but there was no gay team for that. So I decided to create one from scratch.” There are now other gay rugby teams in France, for both men and women. Leroy’s honor at the opening of the World Cup shows the federation’s commitment to inclusion and rugby for all.