Biarritz Olympique

Biarritz Olympique
Full name Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque
Founded 1913 (1913)
Location Biarritz, France
Ground(s) Parc des Sports Aguiléra (Capacity: 15,000)
President Nicolas Brusque
Coach(es) Conor McGregor
Benoît August
Captain(s) Erik Lund
League(s) Rugby Pro D2
2015–16 7th
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque (French pronunciation: [bjaʁits olimpik peˈi bask] "Biarritz Olympic, Basque Country"), also known as Biarritz, is a French professional rugby union team based in the Basque city of Biarritz, New Aquitaine which competes in the Rugby Pro D2, the second division of French rugby. Biarritz plays its home matches at the Parc des Sports Aguiléra, which is a multi-use stadium in Biarritz and which has a capacity of around 13,500 people, though for games that need a larger capacity, Biarritz may play at the Estadio Anoeta in San Sebastián. Biarritz play in red and white colours. Biarritz won a number of major honors, including the French championship on five occasions.

Biarritz Olympique was formed in 1913 through a merger of the Biarritz Stade and Biarritz Sporting Club rugby teams. Biarritz made their way to the final of the French championship for the first time in the 1934 season where they were defeated by Bayonne. The following season they claimed their first championship, defeating Perpignan in the final. That decade Biarritz met Perpignan twice again in the final, winning one and losing one. It would not be until 1992 when the club made the final again, and then a decade later, winning the championship in 2002. The club won back-to-back titles in 2005 and 2006, and were runners-up in Europe in 2006 and 2010 as well. In 2013-14, Biarritz won just five matches out of 26, and were relegated to the Pro D2 League.


The early years

The history of the club extends back to the late 19th century. An athletic club, Biarritz Stade (named that, in 1902) opened up a rugby quarter. In 1909, the Biarritz Sporting Club was established. On 26 April 1913, the fusion of the two clubs took place. The new name of the club was Biarritz Olympique and its inaugural president was M. P. Campagne. On 13 May 1934, Biarritz Olympique played in the final of the French premiership; they were however, defeated by Aviron Bayonnais 13 points to 8 at Stade des Ponts Jumeaux in Toulouse in front of 18,000 people. It was the only all-Basque final and is still the final in which the two contenders were separated by the shortest distance (3 miles), outside the all-Parisian finals of the late 19th century.

A year later, Biarritz again found themselves in the final of the national championship, this time against USA Perpignan. They emerged victorious, winning three points to nil, claiming their first ever national championship. The success continued in the latter stages of the decade. In the 1938 championship, Biarritz again met USAP in the final, though this time, the Perpignan club were able to get the win, Biarritz losing 11 points to six. A year later, the two clubs met in the final again, with Biarritz coming out as the better club on the day, winning six points to nil, and claiming the second national championship. But for almost 50 years, Biarritz was not going to feature prominently in the French league.

The 1980s and 90s

It was not until the late 1980s that BO, as it is nicknamed, was going to reach the top again. In 1989 Biarritz contested their first Challenge Yves du Manoir final since the 1937 season. However, they were defeated by RC Narbonne 18–12 in the final. In 1992, Biarritz made it to the national final, played at Parc des Princes in Paris. However, Biarritz went down to RC Toulon 19 points to 14. In the 1997–98 season, Biarritz competed in their first European Rugby Cup competition, playing in the European Challenge Cup. Biarritz won three of their six fixtures, and did not make it past the pool stages. The 1998–99 season was similar to the previous, though they were able to win one more of their pool fixtures, but finished third in the pool standings after other French clubs Agen and Brive.

In their third Challenge Cup, Biarritz only lost one pool game and finished first in the standings. However, they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by English club Bristol. As well as the success in the Challenge Cup, in the 1999–00 season, they also won the Coupe de France for the first time since 1937, defeating CA Brive 24–13 in the final. Biarritz also earned qualification for the Heineken Cup.[1]


Celebrations after Biarritz' 2006 championship win over Toulouse.

Biarritz, now playing in the elite European competition, the Heineken Cup, the club had a successful run, finishing at the top of their pool, but were eliminated by Irish team Munster, losing 38–29 in the quarter-finals at Thomond Park. In the 2001–02 Heineken Cup Biarritz did not make the finals, finishing second in their pool, winning two of their six pool fixtures.

In 2002, Biarritz made their way to the domestic final for the first time in a decade. They defeated Agen 25 to 22 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis in front of 78,457. That season they were also runners-up to La Rochelle in the Coupe de France final, losing 21–19. The 2002–03 Heineken Cup was also a success for Biarritz, finishing at the top of their pool standings, they were quarter-finalists, but lost to Leinster 18–13 at Lansdowne Road in Dublin.

The 2003–04 Heineken Cup was a best ever for Biarritz, as they made it to the semi-finals for the first time. They finished at the top of their pool and defeated the Llanelli Scarlets in the quarter-finals. They lost to fellow French club Toulouse 19–11 in the semi-finals. In 2004–05 Biarritz dropped only the one pool game against the London Wasps and finished at the top of their pool. They then defeated Munster in the quarter-finals, to repeat their success of the previous season by making the semi-finals. They however lost to Stade Français, 20–17 at Parc des Princes. More success followed in 2005, where they defeated the Stade Français club 37 points to 34 in the domestic final after a very rugged challenge.

In the year 2006, they made it to the Heineken Cup final where they met Munster. Although they lost their first pool game to the Saracens, Biarritz won the remaining matches and finished at the top of their pool, and defeated English clubs Sale and Bath in the finals to make the final. They lost the compelling game 19–23. They were however able to put the Heinken Cup loss behind them and make it to the final of the 2005–06 Top 14, where they met Toulouse. Biarritz led nine points to six at half time but stormed to victory in the second half, the final score being 40 to 13, making Biarritz back-to-back winners. In the 2006–07 Heineken Cup Biarritz won all six of their pool games, topping their group with 29 points. They met fellow pool team Northampton Saints at Estadio Anoeta in the quarter-finals, but Northampton upset Biarritz on the day, winning 8–7. In 2010, after finishing atop their pool, Biarritz defeated Ospreys and Munster, both at the Anoeta, and lost a hard-fought Heineken Cup final to Toulouse, 21–19, at Stade de France in Saint-Denis on Saturday, 22 May.

On 18 May 2012, Biarritz beat Top 14 rivals Toulon 21-18 in the 2012 Amlin Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham Stoop.[2]

Biarritz played poorly during the 2013–14 Top 14 season, and ended up being relegated to the Rugby Pro D2 for the 2014–15 season.


Basque flag with BOPB logo in a house of Biarritz
Rabagny (mascot)

Biarritz play their home matches at the Parc des Sports Aguiléra, which is a multi-use stadium in Biarritz. The stadium is used mostly for rugby and is able to hold around 13,500 people. Apart from Biarritz home games, the ground also hosted an international between the French Barbarians and Argentina.

Biarritz sometimes move larger games across the border to Estadio Anoeta in Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain. The Anoeta is the nearest stadium to Biarritz with a suitable capacity for matches such as a Heineken Cup semi-final, which must be played at a venue which can hold at least 20,000 spectators. The Anoeta holds well above that limit, at slightly over 32,000. The first such match held there was a victory over Munster in a quarter final of the 2004–05 Heineken Cup. In 2005–06 Biarritz played and won both their Heineken Cup quarter and semi-finals at the venue. The 2006–07 quarter-final against Northampton was also played there. In the 2009–10 Top 14 season, Biarritz took two league matches to the Anoeta—their home leg of the Northern Basque derby against Bayonne, and a home match against fellow traditional power Toulouse. They also played both of their knockout matches leading up to the 2010 Heineken Cup final at the Anoeta, defeating Ospreys in the quarter-finals and Munster in the semi-finals.

Colours and name

Biarritz Olympique usually play in red and white colours. Green is the club's tertiary colour, as red, white and green are the traditional colours that represent the Basque Country. Their home uniform consists of red socks and shorts with a predominantly white shirt with red sides. A second jersey also has one green arm. For the 2015-16 season, their kit is produced by Macron (sportswear). The main shirt sponsor is Capgemini.

In 1998, it adopted its current name (Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque), which refers to the club's Basque heritage the name is often abbreviated as BOPB. The club logo is a red and white shield with the B and O in the middle. The words Pays Basque also appear on either side of the logo in green.


The Biarritz supporters sometimes wave the Basque flag in the stands. Traditional Basque songs are also heard, as Basque supporters have a reputation for being very good singers. The Parc des Sports Aguilera is considered an intimidating venue to play at, with Biarritz supporters having a reputation for being very vocal.[3]


Finals results

French championship

2006 Heineken Cup action against the Border Reivers.
Date Winner Runner-up Score Venue Crowd
13 May 1934 Aviron Bayonnais Biarritz Olympique 13–8 Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 18.000
12 May 1935 Biarritz Olympique USA Perpignan 3–0 Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 23.000
8 May 1938 USA Perpignan Biarritz Olympique 11–6 Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 24.600
30 April 1939 Biarritz Olympique USA Perpignan 6–0 (aet) Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 23.000
6 June 1992 RC Toulon Biarritz Olympique 19–3 Parc des Princes, Paris 48.000
8 June 2002 Biarritz Olympique SU Agen 25–22 (aet) Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78.457
11 June 2005 Biarritz Olympique Stade Français 37–34 (aet) Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79.475
10 June 2006 Biarritz Olympique Stade Toulousain 40–13 Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79.474

Heineken Cup

Date Winner Runner-up Score Venue Crowd
20 May 2006 Ireland Munster France Biarritz Olympique 23–19 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 74,534
22 May 2010 France Stade Toulousain France Biarritz Olympique 21–19 Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,962

European Challenge Cup

Date Winner Runner-up Score Venue Crowd
18 May 2012 France Biarritz Olympique France Toulon 21–18 The Stoop, London 9,376

Challenge Yves du Manoir

Year Winner Score Runner-up
1937 Biarritz Olympique 9–3 USA Perpignan
1989 RC Narbonne 18–12 Biarritz Olympique
2000 Biarritz Olympique 24–13 CA Brive

Coupe de France

Year Winner Score Runner-up
2002 Stade Rochelais 23–19 Biarritz Olympique

European record

Season Competition Games Points Notes
played won drawn lost for against diff
2011–12 Heineken Cup 6 3 0 3 143 105 +42 Second in pool; parachuted into Challenge Cup
Amlin Challenge Cup 3 3 0 0 66 41 +19 Champions
2010–11 Heineken Cup 7 4 0 3 160 112 +48 Quarter-finalist (lost to Toulouse)
2009–10 Heineken Cup 9 7 0 2 254 153 +101 Runners-up to Toulouse
2008–09 Heineken Cup 630312188+33
2007–08 Heineken Cup 6402109116−7
2006–07 Heineken Cup 760119252+140 Quarter-finalist (lost to Northampton Saints)
2005–06 Heineken Cup 970223013199 Runners-up to Munster
2004–05 Heineken Cup 960219912277 Semi-finalist (lost to Stade Français)
2003–04 Heineken Cup 850317712651 Semi-finalist (lost to Toulouse)
2002–03 Heineken Cup 740318512857
2001–02 Heineken Cup 6213104959 Quarter-finalists (lost to Leinster)
2000–01 Heineken Cup 74031931903 Quarter-finalists (lost to Munster)
1999–00 Challenge Cup 7502256109147 Quarter-finalists (lost to Bristol)
1998–99 Challenge Cup 640218712463
1997–98 Challenge Cup 6303123153−30

Current standings

2016–17 Rugby Pro D2 Table
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points For Points Against Points Diff Try Bonus Losing Bonus Points
1 Oyonnax 12 8 0 4 338 241 +97 4 3 39
2 Agen 12 8 1 2 317 280 +37 1 1 36
3 Colomiers 12 8 0 4 300 218 +82 2 1 35
4 Montauban 12 8 0 4 286 210 +76 1 1 34
5 Aurillac 12 7 0 5 284 263 +21 3 2 33
6 Mont-de-Marsan 12 6 0 6 257 244 +13 1 5 30
7 Perpignan 12 5 1 6 285 259 +26 3 2 28
8 Soyaux Angoulême 12 5 1 6 239 228 +11 1 1 28
9 Carcassonne 12 6 1 5 257 254 +3 1 0 27
10 Narbonne 12 6 0 6 251 324 –73 1 0 25
11 Biarritz 12 5 0 7 274 273 +1 1 3 24
12 Dax 12 5 0 7 283 331 –48 1 3 24
13 Vannes 12 4 2 6 251 300 –49 1 2 23
14 Béziers 12 4 0 8 241 258 –17 3 2 21
15 Albi 12 4 1 7 234 312 –78 1 1 19
16 Bourgoin 12 2 1 9 203 305 –102 1 2 13
Green background (row 1) Champions automatically promoted to Top 14.
Blue background denotes teams that qualify for the promotion play-offs.
Red background relegation to Fédérale 1.

Note: When two teams have the same points total, position is determined by head-to-head results before points difference.

Current squad

The Biarritz squad for the 2016–17 Pro D2 season is:[4]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Elvis Levi Hooker New Zealand New Zealand
David Roumieu Hooker France France
Romain Ruffenach Hooker France France
Leandro Assi Prop Argentina Argentina
Laurent Cabarry Prop France France
Mathieu Giudicelli Prop France France
Johann Lourdelet Prop France France
Thomas Synaeghel Prop France France
Eugene van Staden Prop South Africa South Africa
Léo Bastien Lock France France
Edwin Hewitt Lock South Africa South Africa
Sikeli Nabou Lock New Zealand New Zealand
Addison Lockley Lock England England
Bertrand Guiry Flanker France France
Felipe Manu Flanker New Zealand New Zealand
Alban Placines Flanker France France
Jean Sousa Flanker Portugal Portugal
Player Position Union
Alexandre Loustaunau Scrum-half France France
Maxime Lucu Scrum-half France France
Laurent Magnaval Scrum-half France France
Fabien Fortassin Fly-half France France
Benoît Baby Centre France France
Charles Gimenez Centre France France
Corbin Kiernan Centre New Zealand New Zealand
Adriu Delai Wing Fiji Fiji
Tim Giresse Wing France France
Saïmoni Vaka Wing Fiji Fiji
Kylan Hamdaoui Fullback France France
Ximun Lucu Fullback France France

Academy squad

In addition, the Biarritz Academy players (with espoir or training contracts) are:[4]

Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under WR eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-WR nationality.

Player Position Union
Lucas Peyresblanques Hooker France France
Ximun Bessonart Prop France France
César Biscioni Prop France France
Josaia Cama Lock Fiji Fiji
Jean-Baptiste Singer Lock France France
Mathieu Hirigoyen Flanker France France
Alexandre Roumat Flanker France France
Asier Usarraga Flanker Spain Spain
Player Position Union
Xan Etcheverry Scrum-half France France
Jules Even Fly-half France France
Yohan Le Bourhis Fly-half France France
Alex Arrate Centre France France
Théo Dachary Centre France France
Robinson Caire Wing France France
Julien Mendiague Wing France France
Kyran Bungaroo Fullback England England
Antoine Viudes Fullback France France

Notable former players

See also


  1. "Biarritz". Archived from the original on December 6, 2005. Retrieved 29 November 2006.
  2. "Rugby-Biarritz 21 Toulon 18 - Amlin Challenge Cup final result". Reuters. 18 May 2012.
  3. "Heineken Cup 2006–07". BBC. 16 October 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2006.
  4. 1 2 "Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque :: Équipe 16-17". Biarritz Olympique (in French). Archived from the original on 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.

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