The great Stade Toulousain rugby team, record holder in all categories of the Brennus competition, regularly trains for the season at Bagnères-de-Luchon. From Biarritz to Perpignan, the Pyrenees seen from the sky appear oblong - here we say ‘oval’. An Ariège native, Fabien Pelous, is still record holder for the number of French team selections with 118 caps.
In the 50s, when nobody was talking about professionalism, it was a small town in the Pyrenees which thwarted all the oval ball’s capricious bounces. Between 1848 and 1968, the FC. Lourdes won the French championship 8 times, and the Yves du Manoir challenge 6 times.
During those years, the town famous for Marian visions, provided many international players, including Jean Prat and Jean-Pierre Garuet. The Hautes-Pyrenees was an impregnable fief of French rugby for many years. The Tarbes Stadoceste team won the title in 1973, and Bagnères-de-Bigorre, featuring Jean Gachassin, Roland Bertranne, and Jean-Michel Aguirre, was finalist twice in 1979 and 1981. The famous neighbouring Section Paloise team also won three titles.
In the Basque country, rugby is a competition between the brother and enemy teams: Aviron Bayonnais and Biarritz Olympique. They have 8 titles combined, including a historical final between them in 1934, won by Aviron.But more recently the Biarritz Olympique team is the star.

At the other end of the Pyrenees, the Catalonian USAP from Perpignan have won 5 Brennus shields, the last in 2009.


The oval land of the Pyrenees is also a hub for rugby league with the Lézignan, Saint-Estève, Limoux, and Carcassonne clubs.