Ivory Coast national rugby union team

Ivory Coast national rugby union team
Ivory Coast
Rugby Logo Cote dIvoire.png
Union Fédération Ivoirienne de Rugby
Nickname(s) Les Éléphants
Coach(es) Côte d'Ivoire Aboubacar Camara
France Ludovic Chaix
Captain(s) Edgar Babou
Team kit
Change kit
First international
 Zimbabwe 22 - 9 Ivory Coast 
Largest win
 Ivory Coast 47 - 0 Tunisia 
Largest defeat
 Ivory Coast 0 - 89 Scotland 
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 1995)
Best result Bottom of pool, 1995

The Ivory Coast national rugby union team, nicknamed Les Éléphants, represents Côte d'Ivoire (also known as Ivory Coast) in rugby union. The team is recognised as Ivory Coast by the International Rugby Board. Ivory Coast participate in the annual Africa Cup and are considered a third tier rugby team.

Formed in 1990, the team's most significant achievement to date was their success in qualifying for the Rugby World Cup for their first and so far only time in 1995. They have not qualified since, though they did reach the semi-finals of the African qualifying competition for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, achieving a home draw against eventual qualifiers Namibia before being defeated in their away match.

Rugby union in Côte d'Ivoire is popular among school children, but the rugby union playing population in Côte d'Ivoire is still relatively small with only 14 clubs and 470 registered senior players.[1]



The Fédération Ivoirienne de Rugby, the national rugby union federation, was formed in March 1990, the same month that it joined the International Rugby Board. They qualified for the World Cup the first time in 1995 and suffered defeats by Scotland, France and Tonga.

With a small player base, and starved of strong competition, the team has deteriorated in recent years. Recent defeats to Morocco mean they are ranked below the North African side. Their record in the World Cup has been poor, and they haven't managed a win. Their record defeat, 89-0 against Scotland in the 1995 tournament, led to some questioning the presence of the minor teams at the tournament. Ivory Coast, however, played much better in the following match, losing to France by 54-18, with 2 tries scored. The final match with Tonga, lost by 29-11, in the 1995 World Cup saw a major tragedy, as Max Brito suffered a cervical spine injury that left him a quadriplegic.

After the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Ivory Coast took a three years break from international competition, only returning for the 1999 Rugby World Cup qualifyings, in September 1998. Ivory Coast was very unfortunate, losing all the three matches, to Namibia (10-22), Zimbabwe (0-32), and Morocco (3-6), in a tournament held in Casablanca, Morocco.

After another hiatus of two years and a half, the Elephants returned for the Africa Championship, in 2001, losing both matches with Morocco, 11-18 at home and 18-20 away, and achieving a 11-11 draw with Tunisia, abroad, and a 47-0 win at home.

Ivory Coast missed the 2003 Rugby World Cup qualification, after losses to Tunisia (8-13) and Morocco (21-23). In the 2007 Rugby World Cup qualifyings, they started promisingly with two wins with Senegal (20-6) and Zimbabwe (33-3), but had mixed results with Morocco, a 9-9 draw at home and a 7-23 loss abroad, and Uganda, with a 7-32 loss abroad and a 18-9 win at home, and were subsequently eliminated.

The Ivorians achieved the qualification for the final stage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals, after a surprising 21-9 win over Morocco, in Casablanca. They faced Namibia afterwards, reaching a 13-13 draw at Abidjan, but losing by 14-54 in Windhoek, being unable to qualify once again.

Results summary

The Ivory Coast national team at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny before their CAN Rugby World Cup 2011 qualifier vs. Zambia on 21 July 2008. Ivory Coast went to win 32-9.

As of 8 July 2011 their record against all nations is as follows:[2]

Against Played Won Lost Drawn  % Won
 Cameroon 1 1 0 0 100
 France 1 0 1 0 0
 Madagascar 1 0 1 0 0
 Morocco 13 2 10 1 15
 Namibia 4 1 2 1 25
 Scotland 1 0 1 0 0
 Senegal 3 2 1 0 66
 Tonga 1 0 1 0 0
 Tunisia 7 4 2 1 63
 Uganda 2 1 1 0 50
 Zambia 1 1 0 0 100
 Zimbabwe 4 2 2 0 50
Total 39 14 22 3 36

World Cup record

  • 1987 - No qualifying tournament held
  • 1991 - Did not qualify
  • 1995 - Pool stages
  • 1999 - Did not qualify
  • 2003 - Did not qualify
  • 2007 - Did not qualify
  • 2011 - Did not qualify

Current squad

Squad for the 2011 World Cup qualifiers against Namibia.[3][4] Ivory Coast squad for the Africa Cup match Morocco (3-60) is available here.[5]

Position Club
Mohamed Dembele Scrum-half Côte d'Ivoire TBO
Diack Gassama Scrum-half France Tours
Tidiane Kamara Fly-half Côte d'Ivoire TBO
Silvère Tian Fly-half France Bourgoin-Jallieu
Laurent Diomandé Centre France Nîmes
Sydney Edouard Centre France Graulhet
Jean-Maurice Oulouma Centre France Oyonnax
Arthur Tian Centre France L'Aigle
Sydney Djiropo Wing France Bordeaux Bègles
Bedel Dogoui Wing France Châteaurenard
Landry Tian Wing France L'Aigle
Louis Kouadio Fullback Côte d'Ivoire TBO
Position Club
Olivier Diomandé Hooker France Racing Métro
Ibrahima Konate Hooker Côte d'Ivoire TBO
Edgar Babou (c) Prop France Gennevilliers
Guy-Pacome Yavo Prop Canada Oakville Crusaders
Marc Youboué Prop France St Junien
Franck Acho Lock France Poitiers
Kinafo Palo Diabaté Lock Côte d'Ivoire TBO
Claude Kouakou Lock Côte d'Ivoire TBO
Issa Meité Lock Côte d'Ivoire AUC
Gaoussou Dao Flanker France Drancy
Serge Jouve Flanker France Blagnac
Daouda Koné Flanker France Bobigny
Bakary Meité Number eight France Orléans

See also


External links

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