Toulouse Olympique

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Toulouse Olympique
Toulouse olympique xiii.png
Full name Toulouse Olympique XIII
Colours      Navy blue
     White
Nickname(s) TO
Website to13.com
Founded 1937
Ground Stade des Minimes,
Toulouse
(Capacity 4,066)
Key people France Carlos Zalduendo (Chair)
France Gilles Dumas (Coach)
France Sylvain Houles (Captain)
League Elite One Championship
Honours
Home colours
Away colours
Rugby current event.svg Current season

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 club has played in six Lord Derby Cup finals, but has never won the competition, they have however been champions of France on four occasions, as well as runners-up in five years.

History[edit]

In March 1937, the Fédération Française de Rugby à XIII decided to establish rugby league in Toulouse, they bought the Arnauné stadium (Stade des Minimes) and formed Toulouse Olympique.

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 for the first time the Cup final in France. During the war years, the club opted (like other rugby league clubs in France) 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 mean time 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 was 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[edit]

P=Premiers, R=Runner-Ups, M=Minor Premierships, F=Play-off Finals Appearance, W=Wooden Spoons
Year of Competition Played Won Drawn Lost Position P R M F W Challenge Cup Lord Derby Cup
2011 Championship 20 4 0 16 10/11 R3 -
2010 Championship 20 8 0 12 8/11 R4 -
2009 Championship 20 9 0 11 10/11 R3 -
2008 Elite One 20 8 0 12 7/11 R4 QF
2007 Elite One 20 15 1 4 2/11
X
R3 Round of 16
2006 Elite One 20 16 0 4 2/12
X
X
R4 SF
2005 Elite One 18 15 0 3 2/10
X
X
SF SF
2004 Elite One 18 12 0 6 3/10 QF

2009 onwards[edit]

Toulouse players in a Championship match against Gateshead (June 2009).

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.[1]

Toulouse Olympique will apply in the next round of franchising to be accepted in Super League in 2012.

In its first season in Championship, in 2009, the 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 its 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 showed however great capacity in this new team who at some point took 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 defeat which in the end prevented the team to reach its goal to make 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 has 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, Yoan tisseyre). The Toulouse Olympique will also benefit from 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 needs to be in the Grand Final in 2012. The club will therefore be looking into finishing in one of the two top spots which give the highest chance to reach the Grand Final in the playoffs.

At the end of the 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.

2013/14 Squad[edit]

* As of 22 January 2013:


2013/14 Toulouse Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach



Legend:
  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 1 October 2013
Source(s): 2013/14 Squad


2013/14 transfers[edit]

Gains

Player Signed from Contract Length Date
France Andrew Bentley SM Pia XIII September 2013
France Kane Bentley SM Pia XIII September 2013
France Louis-Pierre Bourrel Stade Toulousain September 2013

Losses

Player Signed for Contract Length Date
France Adam Innes September 2013
Australia Luke Fahy September 2013
Australia Guy Williams September 2013
France David Delpoux September 2013
France Nicolas Delgal September 2013
France Damien Wastjer September 2013
France Yohan Didone September 2013
Australia Shane Blackett September 2013
France Remok Yannis September 2013
France Marc Meye September 2013
France Valentin Chanet September 2013

Honours[edit]

Average attendance[edit]

  • 2007–2008 : 1,500[2]
  • 2009 : 2,372 [3]

TO seasons[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.therfl.co.uk/~therflc/nationalleague/news_item.php?id=11224
  2. ^ La Depeche, Estimation from the newspaper La Depeche
  3. ^ Championship results, championshipstats.rlfans.com

External links[edit]