Stade Toulousain: A brief History and Introduction
Club: Stade Toulousain
Stadium Name Stade Ernest-Walton
Stadium Address 114,Rue des Troenes BP 42354
31022 Toulouse Minimes Cedex 2
Telephone (33)5 34 42 24 22
Fax (33)5 34 42 24 23
Club Web Site :
Home Colours: Black and Red
Away Colours: Red and Black
League (2015/16): Top 14
“Believing you can beat Toulouse in Toulouse is a triumph of optimism over experience, particularly for a little team like ours (Montpellier). The problem is that if you don’t believe, if you go there simply out of obligation and think more along the lines of damage limitation, you will get slaughtered. They can put 50 points on you without playing particularly well.”
-John Daniell , “Confessions of a Rugby Mercenary”.
Toulouse is one of the most successful rugby clubs in Europe. They have won the Heineken Cup four times, and have been runners-up twice. Toulouse ( or Stade Toulousain to give them their proper name) have also won a record 17 French championship titles.
The Stadium (s)
Toulouse play their home games at the Stade Ernest-Wallon , which was built in the 1980’s. The capacity is 19,000.The stadium is located north-west of Toulouse city centre.
However, for big games, such as Championship play-offs, or Heineken Cup games, the fixture may be moved to Stade de Toulouse ( known simply as Le Stade, or Le Stadium), which has double the capacity at 38,000.Le Stadium opened as a bull-ring in 1949, but soon became the home of Toulouse F.C., as it remains today. The first rugby international was France v Czechoslovakia in 1956. Le Stadium was renovated in time for FIFA World Cup in 1998, and used for four matches in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Stade Toulousain was founded in 1907. It was only two years later that Toulouse played its first national French championship final, losing 17-0 to Stade Bordelais Universite Club. However it only had to wait until 1912 to win its first national title. It had to wait until 1922 to win its second, but the 1920’s were a golden era for the club. Further Championships followed in 1923, 1924, 1926 and 1927.
The following decades were relatively quiet, and it was not until 1947 that Toulouse won the Championship again, defeating SU Agen 10-3. It would not be until 1985 that they won another Championship, this time beating Toulon. They defended their title the following season, and won it again in 1989.
The mid -1990’s saw Stade Toulousain become a major force yet again. The club claimed four premierships in a row, from 1994 to 1997, as well as becoming the first ever Heineken Cup winners in 1996. Further national championships followed in 1999 and 2001. As the club had done in the mid-1990’s , it replicated this success in the Heineken Cup, winning it in 2003 and 2005.Stade Toulousain is the only French club to contest all Heineken Cup competitions to date.
They ended their seven year title drought with a 26-20 win over Clermont Auvergne in 2008. That same season they narrowly lost a Heineken Cup Final to Munster . In 2010 Toulouse faced Biarrirz Olympique at Stade de France in Paris. They won 21-19 to claim their fourth Heineken Cup title.
Toulouse have found much of their modern-day success under coach Guy Noves, one of the most eccentric men in rugby and a former Toulouse and France wing. After the 2005 Heineken Cup final at Murrayfield Noves was attempting to climb a fence to join his family celebrating Toulouse’s win over Stade Francais when stewards intervened. His arrest and eviction from the ground only added to his legendary status among his side’s fans.
Updated October 2015
copyright Miles & Miles Publishing 2015