| 9.6°C Belfast

Five things you need to know about Brive after Stuart Olding signs for French club



Former Ulster player Stuart Olding has signed for French side Brive.

Former Ulster player Stuart Olding has signed for French side Brive.

©INPHO/CameraSport/Simon King

Former Ulster player Stuart Olding has signed for French side Brive.

You could be forgiven for knowing little about Brive - the French town in which Stuart Olding will play his rugby next season.

The former Ulster centre, whose contract at his native province was revoked last month, has joined the French second tier club on a two year deal.

Five things you need to know about Brive

1. The town is actually called Brive-la-Gaillarde

It has just under 50,000 inhabitants and is situated between Bordeaux and Clermont-Ferrand, but is at least 180km away from either. According to TripAdvisor, the top three attractions in the town are the Denoix distillery, the Brive-la-Gaillarde Museum of Art and History or the Abbey of Aubazine.

2. The rugby club is the town's premier sports team but the footballers have a famous export

Club Athlétique Brive Corrèze Limousin, or CA Brive for short, was founded way back in 1910. They play at the Stade Amédée-Domenech, which holds almost 14,000. The town does have a football team too, called L'Etoile Sportive Aiglons Briviste-la-Gaillarde and known as ESA Brive. They play in the fifth tier of the French football pyramid but they have a famous former player; Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny.

3. CA Brive are the only club to have won the Heineken Cup and not their national title

That's a bit of a bittersweet honour. Brive have reached the final of the French championship on four occasions but have been beaten all four times. Their most recent final was back in the 95/96 season, when they were beaten by Toulouse. Their Heineken Cup victory followed a year later when they beat Leicester 28-9 in the final in Cardiff. The reached the Heineken Cup final again a year later but were beaten by Bath.

4. Disaster struck CA Brive in 2000 and they haven't been the same since

Just three years after the club's Heineken Cup success, they were relegated in 2000. The club haven't come close to challenging for top trophies since, suffering another relegation in 2012 and then, of course, this year's drop down to the second tier.

5. Stuart Olding isn't the first Irishman to play for CA Brive

There are two notable Irish players who have previously pulled on the black and white jersey. Connacht man Damian Browne played for the club between 2008 and 2011 before he signed for Leinster. He now plays for Oyonnax. During his spell at CA Brive, he played alongside another former Connacht player in the form of Christian Short. Neither player has got a senior Ireland cap.

Belfast Telegraph