Joining in the summer of 2005 as the club's most high profile signing of the close season, Raphael Ibanez enjoyed a remarkable renaissance on his arrival at Wasps.
Having lead France to a World Cup final in 1999, Raf went on to win over 70 caps and two Grand Slams to add to his World Cup runners up medal before retiring from international rugby in 2003.
However, having impressed with his work ethic and strong early performances for Wasps, Raf found himself once again in the French squad for the Autumn internationals, and went on to be part of the Grand Slam winning Les Bleus side of 2006, celebrating his 80th cap against South Africa.
For Wasps he has been outstanding, bringing guile, experience and edge to the front row, winning a Man of the Match Award for his performance in Wasps' victory over Llanelli in the Heineken Cup and scoring six tries in his 23 appearances of 2005/06. 2006/07 saw Raf once again assert his dominance on the pitch with 20 appearances and two tries for the season. One of the tries, scored in none other than the Heineken Cup final at Twickenham in front of a crowd of over 81,000!
Following his displays on the European and domestic stage, Raf received the nod to captain France throughout the World Cup - an honour of the highest order leading allowing him to lead his side out in front of the home fans in France, the 2007 RWC host nation. He led his side admirably and has now, in 2007/08, made the decision to hand hang up his boots from the international game and focus purely on his efforts with Wasps - the club that he refers to as his second family!
Away from the pitch Raf enjoys an interesting mixture of literature, which he says helps him relax away from the pitch, and kayaking and fly fishing - the proud owner of his own kayak!
Click the squad picture and the action pictures on the left to zoom them.
|Weight:||102kgs / 16st 1lbs|
|Height:||180cm / 5ft 11ins|
|Date of Birth:||17/02/1973|
|Place of Birth:||Dax, France|
|Former Clubs:||Union Bordeaux-Begles, Wasps, Saracens, Castres Olympique, Cote Basque-Landes, US Dax Rugby Landes, USA Perpignan|
|Representative Honours:||, France A, Barbarians|
|Debut Match:||Saracens 03/09/2005|
|Joined Club:||Summer 2005|
|Raphael's Club Stats:||This Season||Club Total|
|Raphael's Test Stats:||Win Rate||Total|
|Country||Won: 63 Drawn: 1 Lost: 34||France|
|Drop Goals||-||International Points||40|