Biarritz Olympique

Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque (French: [bjaʁits ɔlɛ̃pik pe.i bask]; lit.'"Biarritz Olympic, Basque Country"'), usually known simply 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
Biarritz olympique badge.png
Full nameBiarritz Olympique Pays Basque
Founded1913; 108 years ago (1913)
LocationBiarritz, France
Ground(s)Parc des Sports Aguiléra (Capacity: 15,000)
PresidentJean-Baptiste Aldigé and Louis-Vincent Gave
Coach(es)Nicolas Nadau and Shaun Sowerby
Captain(s)Steffon Armitage
League(s)Top 14
2020–21Pro D2, 3rd (promotion finalist/promoted via play-off)
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

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. In 2020–21, they were promoted back to the Top 14 after a 7 year absence.


Early yearsEdit

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 90sEdit

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.

The club finished at the top of their pool In the Heineken Cup, 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 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: Northampton upset Biarritz 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 nameEdit

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. 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 resultsEdit

French championshipEdit

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 CupEdit

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

European Challenge CupEdit

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

Challenge Yves du ManoirEdit

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 FranceEdit

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

European recordEdit

Season Competition Games Points Notes
played won drawn lost for against diff
2013–14 Amlin Challenge Cup 6 3 0 3 119 116 +3
2012–13 Heineken Cup 6 3 0 3 123 101 +22 Second in pool; parachuted into Challenge Cup
Amlin Challenge Cup 2 1 0 1 57 75 –18 Semi-finalist (lost to Leinster)
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 6 3 0 3 121 88 +33
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 standingsEdit

The current table for the 2020–21 Rugby Pro D2 is:[4]

2020–21 Rugby Pro D2 Table watch · edit · discuss
Pos Club Pl W D L PF PA PD TB LB Pts
1 Perpignan (C, P) 30 24 1 5 821 504 +317 9 3 107
2 Vannes 30 21 2 7 722 513 +209 10 3 99
3 Biarritz (PO) 30 19 2 9 700 578 +422 7 5 91
4 Oyonnax 30 18 2 10 808 657 +151 5 5 81
5 Grenoble 30 16 1 13 666 594 +72 4 6 75
6 Colomiers 29 16 1 12 617 587 +30 8 6 74
7 Carcassonne 30 13 1 16 653 665 –12 5 7 65
8 Nevers 30 13 1 16 650 652 –2 5 5 65
9 Montauban 30 14 1 15 627 762 –99 2 3 60
10 Aurillac 30 12 1 17 557 585 –28 1 12 58
11 Mont-de-Marsan 29 11 3 15 550 662 –112 2 7 56
12 Béziers 30 10 1 19 620 671 –51 2 8 56
13 Provence 30 11 2 17 622 743 –121 1 12 55
14 Rouen 30 11 1 18 552 605 –53 1 7 54
15 Valence Romans (R) 30 9 3 18 647 804 –157 2 8 49
16 Soyaux Angoulême (R) 30 8 1 21 522 752 –230 1 8 42
Pos = Position, Pl = Played, W = Won, D = Drawn, L = Lost, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, PD = Points Difference, TB = Try Bonus Points, LB = Losing Bonus Points, Pts = Points Total
Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final Promotion play-off places.
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final Promotion play-off places.
Red background relegation to Nationale.

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

Current squadEdit

The Biarritz squad for the 2020–21 season is:[5]

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
Francois Da Ros Hooker   France
Lucas Peyresblanques Hooker   France
Romain Ruffenach Hooker   France
Vakhtang Akhobadze Prop   Georgia
Luka Azariashvili Prop   Georgia
James Cronin Prop   Ireland
Zakaria El Fakir Prop   France
Guy Millar Prop   Australia
Giorgi Nutsubidze Prop   Georgia
Quentin Samaran Prop   France
Ushangi Tcheishvili Prop   Georgia
Yvan Watremez Prop   France
Johan Aliouat Lock   France
Gorbei Allende Lock   Spain
Andrew Cramond Lock   Scotland
Sven D'Hooghe Lock   Belgium
Joshua Furno Lock   Italy
Kevin Gimeno Lock   France
Evan Olmstead Lock   Canada
Josh Tyrell Lock   Samoa
Steffon Armitage Back row   England
Elliot Dixon Back row   New Zealand
John Dyer Back row   Fiji
Antoine Erbani Back row   France
Mathieu Hirigoyen Back row   France
Tornike Jalaghonia Back row   Georgia
Dave O'Callaghan Back row   Ireland
Player Position Union
Kerman Aurrekoetxea Scrum-half   Spain
Barnabé Couilloud Scrum-half   France
Tomás Cubelli Scrum-half   Argentina
Clément Darbo Scrum-half   France
James Hart Scrum-half   Ireland
Gilles Bosch Fly-half   France
Brett Herron Fly-half   England
Ilian Perraux Fly-half   France
Tevita Kuridrani Centre   Australia
Romain Lonca Centre   France
Vincent Martin Centre   France
Brieuc Plessis Couillard Centre   France
Francis Saili Centre   New Zealand
Francois Vergnaud Centre   France
Yohann Artru Wing   France
Steeve Barry Wing   France
Darly Domvo Wing   France
Alexandre Nicoue Wing   France
Gavin Stark Wing   New Zealand
Henry Speight Wing   Australia
Remi Brosset Fullback   France
Joe Jonas Fullback   South Africa
Ximun Lucu Fullback   France

Notable former playersEdit

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Classement PRO D2". Ligue Nationale de Rugby (in French). Retrieved 8 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Equipe - Effectif PRO D2". Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque (in French). Retrieved 1 September 2019.

External linksEdit