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Biarritz Olympique
Biarritz olympique badge.png
Full name Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque
Founded 1913
Location Biarritz, France
Ground(s) Parc des Sports Aguiléra
Capacity 15,000
President France Serge Blanco
Coach(es) Australia Jack Isaac
France Jean-Michel Gonzalez
Captain(s) France Jérôme Thion
League(s) Top 14
2008-09 5th
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website
www.bo-pb.com

Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque (also known as Biarritz Olympique and abbreviated as BOPB) is a French professional rugby union team based in the Basque city of Biarritz, Aquitaine which competes in the Top 14 and the Heineken Cup. 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 Donostia/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 as well.

Contents

History

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The early years

The history of the club extends back to the late 1800s. 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 six of their three 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 a won 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]

2000s

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 SU Agen 25 to 22 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis in front of 78,457. That season they were also runners-up to Stade Rochelais 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 were 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 6-7.

Stadium

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 32,000 spectators. The first such match held there was 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 current 2009–10 Top 14 season, Biarritz will host their home leg of the Northern Basque derby against Bayonne at the Anoeta.

Colours and name

Biarritz Olympique usually play in red and white colours. 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. Their uniform is collarless and is produced by Puma. 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.

Supporters

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.[2]

Honours

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 AP 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 AP Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78.457
11 June 2005 Biarritz Olympique Stade Français 37-34 AP  Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79.475
10 June 2006 Biarritz Olympique Stade Toulousain 40-13 Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Heineken Cup

Date Winner Runner-up Score Venue Crowd
20 May 2006 Ireland Munster France Biarritz Olympique 23–19 Millennium Stadium, Cardiff 74.534

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 difference
2007-08 Heineken Cup 6 4 0 2 109 116 –7
2006-07 Heineken Cup 7 6 0 1 192 52 +140 Quarter-finalist (lost to Northampton Saints)
2005-06 Heineken Cup 9 7 0 2 230 131 99 Runners-up to Munster
2004-05 Heineken Cup 9 6 0 2 199 122 77 Semi-finalist (lost to Stade Français)
2003-04 Heineken Cup 8 5 0 3 177 126 51 Semi-finalist (lost to Toulouse)
2002-03 Heineken Cup 7 4 0 3 185 128 57
2001-02 Heineken Cup 6 2 1 3 104 95 9 Quarter-finalists (lost to Leinster)
2000-01 Heineken Cup 7 4 0 3 193 190 3 Quarter-finalists (lost to Munster)
1999-00 Challenge Cup 7 5 0 2 256 109 147 Quarter-finalists (lost to Bristol)
1998-99 Challenge Cup 6 4 0 2 187 124 63
1997-98 Challenge Cup 6 3 0 3 123 153 -30

Current squad

B.O. players.
Celebrating a Heineken Cup win in December 2006.

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

Nat. Position Player
France HK Benoît August
France HK Romain Terrain
France PR Fabien Barcella
France PR Alexandre Barozzi
South Africa PR Eduard Coetzee
New Zealand PR Campbell Johnstone
Tonga PR Mosese Moala
Argentina LK Manuel Carizza
France LK César Damiani
South Africa LK Trevor Hall
Samoa LK Pelu Lan Taele
France LK Jérôme Thion Captain
France FL Fabien Alexandre
France FL Imanol Harinordoquy
England FL Magnus Lund
France N8 Florian Faure
Tonga N8 Samiu Vahafolau
Nat. Position Player
France SH Fabien Cibray
France SH Dimitri Yachvili
Argentina FH Marcelo Bosch
France FH Valentin Courrent
France FH Julien Peyrelongue
England CE Ayoola Erinle
France CE Yann Fior
Cook Islands CE Karmichael Hunt
France CE Arnaud Mignardi
France CE Damien Traille
England WG Iain Balshaw
Fiji WG Ilikena Bolakoro
France WG Jean-Baptiste Gobelet
United States WG Takudzwa Ngwenya
France FB Philippe Bidabé
France FB Nicolas Brusque

Academy

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

Nat. Position Player
France HK Benjamin Geledan
France HK Antonin Raffault
France PR Xabi Argagnon
France PR Rémy Hughes
France PR Thomas Lebrequier
France PR Cécilion Puleoto
France PR Yvan Watremez
France LK Jean-Baptiste Roidot
France FL Benoît Guyot
France FL Tanguy Molcard
France N8 Rafaël Lakafia
France N8 Wenceslas Lauret
Nat. Position Player
France SH Adrien Ayestaran
France SH Jean-Pascal Barraque
France SH Yann Lesgourgues
France CE Charles Gimenez
France CE Laurent Tranier
France WG William Amoussou
France WG Ximun Lucu
France WG Anthony Ortega
France FB Paul Couet-Lannes

Notable former players

See also

References

  1. ^ "Biarritz". scrum.com. http://www.scrum.com/heineken/00-01/teams/Biarritz.asp. Retrieved 29 November 2006. 
  2. ^ "Heineken Cup 2006-07". BBC. 16 October 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/6055362.stm. Retrieved 29 November 2006. 

External links


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