Full name Fabien Pelous
Born December 7, 1973, Toulouse
Current age 40 years 270 days
Major teams Toulouse, France
Position No. 8, Lock
Height 6 ft 6 in
Weight 242 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||1999-2007||16||13||3||5||1||0||0||0||11||5||0||68.75|
|Test debut||France v Romania at Tucuman, Oct 17, 1995 match details|
|Last Test||France v England at Stade de France, Oct 13, 2007 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
French lock Fabien Pelous is a genuine great of the professional era. A meticulous technician in the lineout and a hulking presence in the loose, Pelous has cemented a place for himself as one of the game's legends at both club and international level.
His first cap came in 1995 against Romania, and he went on to add a further 117 before his international retirement in 2007. He eclipsed the French record of 111 caps previously held by Philippe Sella in the World Cup warm up game against England in Marseille in 2007.
Pelous was born in Toulouse in December 1973 and began his life in rugby aged 10 with local side SC Saverdan. He played further rugby at amateur level with SC Graulhet before making the switch to Dax in 1995.
Following two seasons with Dax, Pelous took the chance to play for his hometown side, Toulouse. Over the course of the next ten years Pelous became a talismanic leader for Toulouse, synonymous with their success at both domestic and European level.
Victory in the 1999 Top 14 final with Toulouse was followed by a spot in the French World Cup squad, and eventual disappointment in the 35-12 defeat at the hands of Australia in the final.
Back at domestic level Pelous added a second Top 14 winner's medal in 2001 and was on hand when Toulouse edged out Perpignan 22-17 in the 2003 Heineken Cup final. Domestic success was again followed with international disappointment as France exited the World Cup in 2003 at the semi final stage. Pelous started in the semi final only to be part of a French pack that was kicked out of the game by the metronomic Jonny Wilkinson.
Ahead of the 2004 Six Nations Pelous was given the captaincy of the French side, succeeding Fabien Galthie. In his first Six Nations in charge the French recorded a Grand Slam.
Following success at international level, Pelous tasted defeat in the 2004 Heineken Cup final when his Toulouse side were beaten by Wasps at a packed Twickenham. Pelous had his revenge on the Heineken Cup in 2005 when he led Toulouse to an extra-time victory over perennial rivals Stade Francais.
Pelous missed France's summer tests with a serious knee injury, the beginning of a recurring problem that hampered his progress for the remainder of his career. A brief return in Les Bleus' 26-16 autumn victory over Australia was short-lived when Pelous was handed a 14-week ban for elbowing Wallaby hooker Brendan Cannon.
His disappointment continued,as he was forced out of the 2007 Six Nations through injury, whiles slated to win his record-breaking caps.
Pelous' injury problems led to hooker Rapahel Ibanez being given the captaincy for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, held in France. Following a spectacular opening ceremony at the Stade de France, Pelous was part of the side that was sensationally beaten by Argentina in the first match of the tournament. As one of the senior members of the side Pelous was forced to shoulder a large proportion of the media attention following the shock loss.
The French team recovered to make the semi-finals, with Pelous playing in his third. He was again frustrated to defeat by England, calling time on his international career following the tournament. The day after the 2007 World Cup final, Pelous was honoured with the International Rugby Press Association Special Merit Award.
After 118 tests, with 42 as captain, three Six Nations wins, two Heineken Cups and two Top 14s, Pelous retired following Toulouse's defeat to Munster in the 2008 Heineken Cup final but was tempted back for one last season with the French giants.
In April 2009, he announced his plans to retire once again at the end of the season. His career finally came to an end following Toulouse's defeat to Clermont Auvergne in their Top 14 semi-final play-off. A success at the top for 12 years, Pelous later moved into the coaching ranks with France 'A' at the 2010 Churchill Cup.