Stade Toulousain

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Stade Toulousain
Full nameStade Toulousain
Nickname(s)Le Stade
Les Rouge et Noir (The Red and Blacks)
Founded1907; 116 years ago (1907)
LocationToulouse, France
Ground(s)Stade Ernest-Wallon (Capacity: 19,500)
PresidentDidier Lacroix
Coach(es)Ugo Mola
Captain(s)Julien Marchand
Most appearancesJean Bouilhou (392)
Top scorerJean-Baptiste Élissalde (1,776)
Most triesVincent Clerc (134)
League(s)Top 14
1st kit
2nd kit
Official website

Stade Toulousain (French pronunciation: [stad tuluzɛ̃]) (Occitan: Estadi Tolosenc), also referred to as Toulouse, is a professional rugby union club based in Toulouse, France. They compete in the Top 14, France's top division of rugby, and the European Rugby Champions Cup.

Toulouse is the most successful club in Europe, having won the Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup a record five times – in 1996, 2003, 2005, 2010 and 2021. They were also runners-up in 2004 and 2008 against London Wasps and Munster, respectively. Stade Toulousain have also won a record 22 Boucliers de Brennus, the French domestic league trophy. It is traditionally one of the main providers for the French national team and its youth academy is one of the best in the world. Stade Toulousain also have the biggest fan base in Europe, and the biggest social media and brand presence of any non-national rugby team across both league and union.

Their home ground is the Stade Ernest-Wallon. However, big Top 14 matches along with European games are often played at the Stadium Municipal de Toulouse. The club colours are red, black and white.


Roots and foundation[edit]

The logo of Thomas Aquinas (left) in the Basilica of Saint-Sernin and The ceremonial red and black colours worn by the Capitouls (right) influenced the crest and colours of the club respectively.

Before 1907, rugby union in Toulouse was only played in schools or universities. In 1893, students of secondary school "Lycée de Toulouse" got together in a new team "Les Sans-Soucis". Once attending university, the same students founded "l'Olympique Toulousain", which became "Stade Olympien des Étudiants de Toulouse" (SOET) a few years later in 1896. In the same period, 'non-students' grouped in "le Sport Athlétique Toulousain" (SAT) while students of the veterinary school created "l'Union Sportive de l'École Vétérinaire" (USEV). Both entities merged in 1905 and called themselves "Véto-Sport". Finally in 1907, Stade Toulousain was founded resulting from a union between the SOET and Véto-Sport.

Since its creation in 1907, Stade Toulousain drew on the past of the city. The design of Stade Toulousain's crest refers to the initials of Thomas Aquinas (transl. Saint Thomas in French ; S and T, same as the club's name) whose bones rest in the Church of the Jacobins, in Toulouse. The interlaced letters came from a famous tiled floor of the Basilica of Saint-Sernin, where the relics were temporarily moved for almost two centuries after the French Revolution.[1] The historical colours, red and black, are rooted in the ceremonial costume of the capitouls of Toulouse. A municipal body created in 1147, the capitouls were until the French Revolution the consuls of the city. Their traditional costume was red and black (with white bands), as shown in the oldest portraits dating from the 14th century.[2]

Early years[edit]

The 1927 champion team.

Stade Toulousain played its first final of the national title French Championship in 1909 and lost it to Stade Bordelais Université Club (17–0) in Toulouse. In 1912 Stade Toulousain won its first national title. It had to wait until 1922 before it won its second. However the 1920s were a golden era for the club. Their first final action in the 1920s was in 1921, when they were defeated by USA Perpignan. Despite losing in 1921, the side went on to win the 1922, 1923, 1924, 1926 and 1927 championships.

1930s to 1950s[edit]

The following decades were relatively quiet after such a dominant era during the 1920s. Stade Toulousain would not make it to any grand finals during the 1930s, and it would not be until the late 1940s when they would return. However they did contest the Challenge Yves du Manoir with RC Toulon in 1934, though it ended in a nil-all tie and both teams were winners. The club made it to the final of the 1947 championship, and claimed the premiership, beating SU Agen, 10 to 3. However, no such championships followed, the club was again relatively quiet on the championship. It was 22 years in the waiting; Toulouse made it to the final, but were defeated by the CA Bègles club.

1970s to 1980s[edit]

In 1971 Toulouse contested the Challenge Yves du Manoir against US Dax, losing 18 to 8. Eleven years after the CA Bègles defeat, the club was again disappointed in the final, being defeated by AS Béziers in the championship game of 1980. The latter end of the decade was however, reminiscent of the 1920s sides. Toulouse were again contesting the Challenge Yves du Manoir for the 1984 season, though they lost to RC Narbonne 17 to 3. They did however claim their first championship since 1947, defeating RC Toulon in the 1985 final. The following season saw them successfully defend their championship, defeating SU Agen in the final. After a number of defeats in the Challenge Yves du Manoir finals, Toulouse defeated US Dax to win the 1988 competition. Both Toulon and Agen won the following premierships (1987 and 1988) but Toulouse won another championship in 1989.

1990s to present[edit]

The dominance continued in the 1990s, starting with a grand final loss in 1991, and a Challenge Yves du Manoir championship in 1993, defeating Castres 13 to 8 in the final. The mid-1990s saw Stade Toulousain become a major force yet again, as the club claimed four premierships in a row, winning the championship in 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997, as well as the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1995. The club emulated its success in the European Rugby Cup, becoming the first ever champions in the 1995–96 season.

Stade Français v Stade toulousain. Stade de France, Paris, 27 January 2007.

The late 1990s and the 2000s saw the club again reach great heights. The club won the Challenge Yves du Manoir in 1998, defeating Stade Français Paris, the 1999 championship as well as the 2001 championship. They also were runners-up in the 2003 season, losing to Stade Français in the final. As the club had done in the mid-1990s, Stade Toulousain replicated this success in the European Rugby Cup, winning the 2002–03 and the 2004–05 cups. The club made it to the final of the 2005-06 Top 14, and despite only trailing Biarritz 9–6 at half time, Toulouse could not prevent a second-half whitewash, eventually going down 40–13. They ended their seven-year title drought with a 26–20 win over ASM Clermont Auvergne on 28 June 2008. In 2008 they narrowly lost a Heineken Cup Final to Munster by 3 points. In 2010 Toulouse defeated Leinster to reach the final where they faced Biarritz Olympique at Stade de France in Paris on Saturday 22 May 2010. Toulouse won the game by 21–19 to claim their fourth Heineken Cup title,[3][4] making them the first club to win the title four times. Stade Toulousain is also the only French club to have taken part in all the editions of Heineken Cup since its creation (17, with the 2011–12 season). They won the French championship in 2011 against Montpellier (15–10) and 2012 against Toulon (18–12). Stade Toulousain reached the semi-finals of the French championship 20 consecutive years (from 1994 to 2013). In 2019, Toulouse came back to victory, earning a 20th French Rugby Union Championship title before making an historic double, winning the 2021 Champions Cup and the 2021 Top 14. Their latest title is the 2023 French championship earned against La Rochelle, teams were ranked respectively first and second of the regular season 2023.


Ernest-Wallon in 2021.

Toulouse play their home games at the Stade Ernest-Wallon, which was built in the late 1980s and was recently renovated. It has a capacity of 19,500. Stade Toulousain is one of the rare teams, in France and especially in rugby union, that own its stadium. Since February 2020, it has also been home to rugby league team Toulouse Olympique, which currently competes in the 2nd tier Championship, following negotiations and an agreement between both executive boards.[5]

The stadium however cannot always accommodate all the fans of the Toulouse club. For the larger fixtures, such as championship or Heineken Cup games or play-offs, the fixture may be moved to Stadium Municipal, which has more capacity, 33,150. The stadium was used for numerous matches at the 2007 Rugby World Cup and will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.[6]


The Brennus Shield, the trophy awarded to the French champion.

European record[edit]

Toulouse playing Bath in the 2013 Heineken Cup.
  • Toulouse qualified for the Heineken Cup in every season of that competition's existence (1995–96 to 2013–14), and played in the inaugural season of the replacement competition, the European Rugby Champions Cup.
  • The club have the best competition record in the Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup, having won the competition five times and having played seven finals, and was the first team to win over 100 games in the history of the competition. Along with Munster, Toulouse is the most victorious team in the history of the competition, with a total of 124 wins. It's the second best club in European rugby in terms of total games played in the highest European competition possible with 179 games alongside Leinster and behind Munster.
  • Stade toulousain completed "the Double" (Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup-National Championship) 2 times (1995-1996 and 2020-2021), a record shared with Leicester Tigers (2000-2001 and 2001-2002) and Saracens (2015-2016 and 2018-2019).
  • Vincent Clerc is the second all-time top try scorer in Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup history, having scored 36 units.
Season Competition Games Points Notes
played won drawn lost for against difference
2021-22 European Rugby Champions Cup 4 1 1 2 61 65 -4 Semi-finalists (lost to Leinster)
2020-21 European Rugby Champions Cup 6 6 0 0 161 93 +68 Champions (defeated La Rochelle)
2019–20 European Rugby Champions Cup 8 7 0 1 216 121 +95 Semi-finalists (lost to Exeter Chiefs)
2018–19 European Rugby Champions Cup 8 6 0 2 183 187 -4 Semi-finalists (lost to Leinster)
2017–18 did not Qualify
2016–17 European Rugby Champions Cup 7 3 0 6 180 132 +48 Quarter-finalists (lost to Munster)
2015–16 European Rugby Champions Cup 6 1 0 5 85 173 -88 Failed to exit group stages from Pool 1.
2014–15 European Rugby Champions Cup 6 4 0 2 126 124 +2 Failed to exit group stages from Pool 4.
2013–14 Heineken Cup 7 5 0 2 166 110 56 Quarter-finalists (lost to Munster)
2012–13 Heineken Cup 6 4 0 2 132 84 48 Second place in Pool 2; parachuted into European Challenge Cup
European Challenge Cup 1 0 0 1 19 30 −11 Quarter-finalists (lost to Perpignan)
2011–12 Heineken Cup 7 4 0 3 164 124 40 Quarter-finalists (lost to Edinburgh)
2010–11 Heineken Cup 8 6 0 2 205 137 68 Semi-finalists (lost to Leinster)
2009–10 Heineken Cup 9 8 0 1 232 143 89 Champions (defeated Biarritz Olympique)
2008–09 Heineken Cup 7 4 1 2 127 97 30 Quarter-finalists (lost to Cardiff Blues)
2007–08 Heineken Cup 9 6 0 3 210 119 91 Runners-up (lost to Munster)
2006–07 Heineken Cup 6 3 0 3 147 145 2 Failed to exit group stages from Pool 5.
2005–06 Heineken Cup 7 5 1 1 223 165 58 Quarter-finalists (lost to Leinster)
2004–05 Heineken Cup 9 8 0 1 263 144 119 Champions (defeated Stade Français)
2003–04 Heineken Cup 9 7 0 2 232 113 119 Runners-up (lost to Wasps)
2002–03 Heineken Cup 9 8 0 1 308 163 145 Champions (defeated Perpignan)
2001–02 Heineken Cup 6 3 0 3 151 146 5 Failed to exit group stages from Pool 6.
2000–01 Heineken Cup 6 2 1 3 171 182 −11 Failed to exit group stages from Pool 3.
1999–00 Heineken Cup 8 6 0 2 256 122 134 Semi-finalists (lost to Munster)
1998–99 Heineken Cup 7 4 0 3 247 118 129 Quarter-finalists (lost to Ulster)
1997–98 Heineken Cup 8 6 1 1 273 153 120 Semi-finalists (lost to Brive)
1996–97 Heineken Cup 6 4 0 2 194 197 −3 Semi-finalists (lost to Leicester Tigers)
1995–96 Heineken Cup 4 4 0 0 123 40 83 Champions (defeated Cardiff)

Current standings[edit]

2023–24 Top 14 Table
Club Played Won Drawn Lost Points For Points Against Points Diff. Try Bonus Losing Bonus Points
1 Stade Français 6 5 0 1 159 98 +61 1 0 22
2 Pau 6 5 0 1 154 95 +59 1 1 22
3 Racing 6 4 0 1 166 114 +52 1 1 19
4 Castres 6 4 0 1 166 122 +44 1 1 19
5 Toulouse 6 4 0 2 153 129 +24 1 0 18
6 Clermont 6 4 0 2 154 132 +22 1 0 18
7 Toulon 6 3 0 3 145 122 +23 0 1 15
8 Bordeaux Bègles 6 3 0 3 124 125 -1 0 1 15
9 Lyon 6 2 0 4 144 170 –26 1 0 12
10 La Rochelle 6 2 0 4 119 112 +7 0 1 11
11 Bayonne 6 2 0 4 85 130 –45 0 1 10
12 Oyonnax 6 2 0 4 112 169 -57 0 0 8
13 Montpellier 6 1 0 5 94 142 –48 0 0 8
14 Perpignan 6 1 0 5 115 230 –115 0 0 4

If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:

  1. Competition points earned in head-to-head matches
  2. Points difference in head-to-head matches
  3. Try differential in head-to-head matches
  4. Points difference in all matches
  5. Try differential in all matches
  6. Points scored in all matches
  7. Tries scored in all matches
  8. Fewer matches forfeited
  9. Classification in the previous Top 14 season
Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final play-off places and receive berths in the 2024–25 European Rugby Champions Cup.
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final play-off places, and receive berths in the Champions Cup.
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2024–25 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Pink background (row 13) will be contest a play-off with the runners-up of the 2023–24 Rugby Pro D2 season for a place in the 2024–25 Top 14 season.
Red background (row 14) will be relegated to Rugby Pro D2. Updated: 2 September 2023

Selected presidents[edit]

René Bouscatel.
René Bouscatel.

Bouscatel is the most successful president in the history of the club.

Selected former coaches[edit]

Pierre Villepreux and Jean-Claude Skrela.

Current squad[edit]

The Toulouse squad for the 2023–24 season is:[7]

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Ian Boubila Hooker France France
Guillaume Cramont Hooker France France
Malachi Hawkes Hooker Australia Australia
Julien Marchand Hooker France France
Peato Mauvaka Hooker France France
David Ainu'u Prop United States United States
Dorian Aldegheri Prop France France
Cyril Baille Prop France France
Valentin Delpy Prop France France
Maxime Duprat Prop France France
Owen Franks Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Nepo Laulala Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Joël Merkler Prop Spain Spain
Rodrigue Neti Prop France France
Hugo Reilhes Prop France France
Richie Arnold Lock Australia Australia
Joshua Brennan Lock France France
Piula Faʻasalele Lock Samoa Samoa
Thibaud Flament Lock France France
Emmanuel Meafou Lock France France
Clément Vergé Lock France France
Léo Banos Back row France France
Mathis Castro Ferreira Back row France France
François Cros Back row France France
Rynhardt Elstadt Back row South Africa South Africa
Anthony Jelonch Back row France France
Alban Placines Back row France France
Théo Ntamack Back row France France
Alexandre Roumat Back row France France
Jack Willis Back row England England
Player Position Union
Antoine Dupont Scrum-half France France
Baptiste Germain Scrum-half France France
Paul Graou Scrum-half France France
Romain Ntamack Fly-half France France
Edgar Retière Fly-half France France
Billy Searle Fly-half England England
Pita Ahki Centre Tonga Tonga
Pierre-Louis Barassi Centre France France
Santiago Chocobares Centre Argentina Argentina
Paul Costes Centre France France
Sofiane Guitoune Centre France France
Simon Renda Centre France France
Setariki Bituniyata Wing Fiji Fiji
Juan Cruz Mallia Wing Argentina Argentina
Dimitri Delibes Wing France France
Nelson Épée Wing France France
Matthis Lebel Wing France France
Arthur Retière Wing France France
Lucas Tauzin Wing France France
Max Auriac Fullback France France
Ange Capuozzo Fullback Italy Italy
Blair Kinghorn Fullback Scotland Scotland
Thomas Ramos Fullback France France

Espoirs squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Thomas Lacombre Hooker France France
Lakakimua Mekenese Hooker France France
Malachi Hawkes Prop New Zealand New Zealand
Joel Merkler Prop Spain Spain
Marc Ruiz Prop Spain Spain
Leo Labarthe Lock France France
Raphael Portat Lock France France
Jack Steyn Lock South Africa South Africa
Mathis Castro-Ferriera Back row France France
Bastien Gest Back row France France
Lomig Jouanny Back row France France
Braemar Murray Back row United States United States
Clement Sentubery Back row France France
Player Position Union
Ruben Maka Scrum-half France France
Hugo Szarzewski Fly-half France France
Mehdi Narjissi Centre France France
Cellan Pouzelgues Centre France France
Lucas De Beukelar Wing France France
Benjamin Descamps Fullback France France

Out on loan[edit]

As of 1 July 2022[8]

Note: Flags indicate national union under World Rugby eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-World Rugby nationality.

Player Position Union
Baptiste Germain (on loan at Biarritz) Scrum-half France France
Simon Renda (on loan at Mont-de-Marsan) Centre France France
Romain Riguet (on loan at Montauban) Centre France France
Max Auriac (on loan at Colomiers ) Fullback France France

Notable former players[edit]

Vincent Clerc
Thierry Dusautoir
Yannick Jauzion
Fabien Pelous
Fabien Pelous

The following are players who have represented their country, players who have won a title with the club, players who have played a sufficient number of games to go down in the club history or players who came from the academy and have made a significant career in another team:


Toulouse supporters in 2008.

Being one of the most popular teams in France, Toulouse has many fan clubs all over the country:[9]

  • Le Huit (fan club of Stade toulousain based in Toulouse)
  • Le Huit Section Aveyron (branch based in Aveyron)
  • Le Rouge et le Noir (formerly Les Ultras, the oldest fan club based in Toulouse).
  • Le 16e homme (fan club of Stade toulousain based in Haute-Garonne)
  • Le 16e homme Toulousains 2 Paris (branch based in Paris)
  • L'amicale des Supporters (fan club of Stade toulousain based in Toulouse)
  • Tolosa XV (fan club of Stade toulousain based in Haute-Garonne)
  • Les Salopettes Rouges (fan club based in Tarn)

Toulouse supporters are known for being very active on social media. Stade Toulousain is the most followed rugby club on social media in the world, ahead Crusaders, Sharks, Toulon and Stormers.[10]

Stade Ernest-Wallon atmosphere is well known in France and Europe to be one of the best of club rugby. Toulouse can rely on a passionate city, having one of the best attendances in the league. The club's mascot, Ovalion, is a lion, animal which is the symbol of Peugeot, main sponsor of the club.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Saint-Thomas d'Aquin, protecteur du Stade toulousain". Grand-Sud Insolite (in French). Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  2. ^ Hisbacq, Fabien (19 August 2021). "La question pas si bête : pourquoi le Stade Toulousain joue-t-il en rouge et noir ?". (in French). Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  3. ^ Cleary, Mick (22 May 2010). "Toulouse lead French revolution with Heineken Cup final win against Biarritz". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  4. ^ "Biarritz 19–21 Toulouse: As it happened". RTÉ Sport. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 24 May 2010.
  5. ^ Assemat, Anthony (31 January 2020). "Toulouse. Pourquoi, au stade Ernest-Wallon, le Bleu et Blanc va remplacer le Rouge et Noir". (in French). Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  6. ^ "The Rugby World Cup 2023 in Toulouse". 28 April 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Staff équipe Pro". Stade Toulousain (in French). Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  8. ^ "Rugby transfers for Toulouse for 2022/2023". All.Rugby. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  9. ^ "Clubs de Supporters". Stade Toulousain (in French). Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  10. ^ Dickins, Connor (24 May 2022). "Most Popular Rugby Clubs in the World". Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  11. ^ "Toulouse. L'Ovalion nouveau est arrivé". La Dépêche du Midi (in French). 7 May 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2022.

External links[edit]