Imanol Harinordoquy

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Imanol Harinordoquy
File:USO-ST - 20150306 - Imanol Harinordoquy 1.jpg
Full name Imanol Harinordoquy
Date of birth (1980-02-20) 20 February 1980 (age 39)
Place of birth Bayonne, France
Height 1.92 m (6 ft 3 12 in)
Weight 105 kilograms (16 st 7 lb)
Rugby union career
Current status
Position(s) Number 8
Current team Stade Toulousain
Playing career
Position Number 8
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
1995-1999 Nafarroa
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Stade Toulousain
correct as of 10 January 2015.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2002-2012 France 82 (65)
correct as of 14 November 2014.

Imanol Harinordoquy (born 20 February 1980) is a French rugby union player who typically plays as a number 8 for Stade Toulousain at club level in the Top 14 and for France internationally. Before signing with Biarritz ahead of the 2004–05 season, he played club rugby at Pau.

Harinordoquy has won two Top 14 titles (2005, 2006), five Six Nations victories (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010), which included three Grand Slams (2002, 2004, 2010) and the 2012 Amlin Cup. He has also lost 2 Heineken Cup finals, in 2006 and 2010.


Early life

A native of Bayonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Harinordoquy grew up in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (Basque: Donibane Garazi). He grew up playing many sports, among them pelota, swimming, football and judo. Harinordoquy began concentrating on the sport of rugby following a knee injury at the age of 14, which limited his football development. He began his career playing for US Nafarroa and quickly advanced in the sport. While excelling at Nafarroa and later Pau, Harinordoquy represented France at under-19 and under-21 levels. He was also brought up in the family's cattle-trading business; when it came time for him to choose between the business and rugby, he opted for the latter. Harinordoquy did, however, earn a BTS in agricultural management.


Harinordoquy joined Pau in 1999 and was a part of the team the reached the semi-finals in his inaugural season with the club, which resulted in qualification to the European Cup in the next season. After consistently appearing with the team the next two seasons, in 2002, Harinordoquy made his international debut just before his 22nd birthday in the Six Nations match against Wales. He contributed to the team and helped France win the Grand Slam that year. In the 2003 Rugby World Cup, Harinordoquy was again in form, grounding tries in wins over Ireland, Scotland and Fiji. Harinordoquy has been a fixture in the French side ever since, helping France to a second Six Nations Grand Slam in 2004. He was joint top try scorer with four in the 2004 edition of the Six Nations competition.

Harinordoquy entered the 2005 Six Nations with 30 caps for France. However, he missed the competition's first fixture against Scotland due to a separated shoulder suffered in his last game for Biarritz before the competition. Harinordoquy, subsequently, had difficulty regaining his form immediately after the injury; he was dropped from the squad by the end of the 2005 tournament. He returned to the team ahead of the 2007 Rugby World Cup and quickly cemented his place within the team. Harinordoquy started in France's opening match against Argentina.

At the end of 2010, Harinordoquy made the short-list for IRB Player of the Year and was the only player from the Northern Hemisphere to do so. He ultimately lost out on the award to All Blacks captain Richie McCaw.[1]

Harinordoquy was a member of the French team that finished as the runner-up to hosts New Zealand in the 2011 Rugby World Cup Final.

After Biarritz finished bottom in the 2013/2014 season and was subsequently relegated, Harinordoquy decided to move on to Stade Toulousain for the 2014/2015 Top 14 season.[2]


External links