|This article is outdated. (July 2014)|
|Full name||Toulouse Olympique XIII|
|Ground||Stade des Minimes,
|Key people|| Carlos Zalduendo (Chair)
Gilles Dumas (Coach)
Sylvain Houles (Captain)
|League||Elite One Championship|
Toulouse Olympique are a French professional rugby league team from Toulouse, in the southwest of France. They were founded on 22 October, in 1937 two years after the founding of the French Rugby League Federation. Between 1995 and 2002 the club were known as Spacers de Toulouse, due to links with the local aerospace industry. In 2009, Toulouse joined the Co-operative Championship after being denied a Super League license. They have now returned to the Elite One Championship after an unsuccessful spell in the Co-operative Championship with no finishes higher than 8th place. However, they still play in the Northern Rail Cup.
The first match Toulouse played was on 24 October 1937 against Albi. In 1938, Toulouse Olympique merged with another club in the city, Galia Club Toulousain. In 1939, TO reached the Cup final in France for the first time. During the war years, like other rugby league clubs in France, the club opted to play rugby union following the ban on rugby league by the Vichy regime in France. In 1944, Toulouse reached the Semi-Final of the French Cup in rugby union. In the meantime the Arnauné stadium was confiscated by the State, like most of the assets of the French Federation of rugby league. Following liberation by the Allies and the restoration of the French Championship, the club were on the losing side twice when they met Carcassonne in the finals for the 1944-45 and 1945-46 competitions. After a decade away from the top, another strong team emerged that included Pierre Lacaze and Georges Aillères.
In 1995, Toulouse Olympique changed their name to Spacers de Toulouse (or Toulouse Spacers) and kept this until 2002. In 2000, the club won the championship. Toulouse's ambition to join the European Super League grew but in 2003, their application was rejected by the Rugby Football League in favour of Union Treiziste Catalane.
In 2005 Olympique became the first French club ever to reach the semi-finals of the Rugby League Challenge Cup, when they defeated European Super League side Widnes Vikings 40-24. They went on to lose 56-18 to world champions Leeds Rhinos in the semi-final at the Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield.
Recent seasons summaries
|Year of Competition||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Position||P||R||M||F||W||Challenge Cup||Lord Derby Cup|
|2008 Elite One||20||8||0||12||7/11||R4||QF|
|2007 Elite One||20||15||1||4||2/11||
||R3||Round of 16|
|2006 Elite One||20||16||0||4||2/12||
|2005 Elite One||18||15||0||3||2/10||
|2004 Elite One||18||12||0||6||3/10||QF|
Toulouse Olympique XIII's main objective is to be accepted into Super League. In 2006, the Rugby Football League decided to introduce franchising for the 2009 Super League season, with the number of clubs being increased from 12 to 14. Toulouse were one of the applicants, but failed to win a licence, losing out to the 12 existing Super League clubs, Salford City Reds, and the Crusaders. After the announcement however, the Rugby Football League invited the French Rugby League Federation to nominate a team to enter the second tier Co-operative Championship (previously National League One) for the 2009 season. Toulouse Olympique planned to apply in the next round of franchising to be accepted in Super League in 2012.
In their first season in Championship, in 2009, Toulouse Olympique suffered a bad start with a lack of any real pre-season game (while other Championship sides had friendlies and Northern Rail Cup games). In their first match of the Championship, the Toulouse Olympique team, largely revamped relative to the previous year, suffered a massive defeat in Widnes 70-0. The rest of the season, however, went better with the team at one point taking the 4th place in the league. However the loss of their play maker Nathan Wynn for several weeks in the defeat against Featherstone at home in June marked the beginning of a series of defeats which in the end prevented the team from achieving their goal of reaching the playoff in their first year. The team finished 10th out of 11 teams in their first season.
At the start of the 2010 season, the club made significant additions to the team with two players coming from Super League clubs (Vincent Duport and Simon Worrall) and three good French players from Elite 1 sides (Julien Lasserre, Romain Mencarini and Yoan Tisseyre). Toulouse also made an agreement with the Catalans Dragons to register 3 dual players from the Super League team. To qualify for a place in Super League, the club needed to be in the Grand Final in 2012, and therefore planned to finish in one of the two top spots, which give the highest chance to reach the Grand Final in the playoffs.
At the end of 2011 it was announced that Toulouse Olympique would be returning to the French League for the 2012 season onwards, although they would still be featuring in the Northern Rail Cup.
* As of 1 September 2014:
|2014/15 Toulouse Squad|
|First team squad||Coaching staff|
Updated: 1 September 2014
|Player||Signed from||Contract Length||Date|
|Quentin Henrion||July 2014|
|Danny Hulme||North Wales Crusaders||2 Years||July 2014|
|Player||Signed for||Contract Length||Date|
|Damian Couturier||Retire - Assistant Coach||N/A||July 2014|
|Yohan Barthau||July 2014|
|Louis-Pierre Bourrel||July 2014|
|Paul Marcon||July 2014|
- La Depeche, Estimation from the newspaper La Depeche
- Championship results, championshipstats.rlfans.com
- Official Website (In French)
- Toulouse Olympique forum on rlfans.com (English and French)
- Matches' previews and reviews on Sang-et-or.net (English)