Top 14

Last updated
Top 14
Current season, competition or edition:
Rugby football current event.svg 2023–24 Top 14 season
Logo Top14 2012.png
Sport Rugby union
Founded1892;132 years ago (1892)
Administrator LNR
No. of teams14
CountryFlag of France.svg  France
Most recent
champion(s)
Toulouse (22nd title)
(2022–23)
Most titles Toulouse (22 titles) [1]
TV partner(s) Canal+
Canal+ Sport
Level on pyramid Level 1
Relegation to Rugby Pro D2
International cup(s) European Rugby Champions Cup
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Official website Top 14

The Top 14 (French pronunciation: [tɔpkatɔʀz] ) is a professional rugby union club competition that is played in France. Created in 1892, the Top 14 is at the top of the national league system operated by the France National Rugby League, also known by its French initialism of LNR. There is promotion and relegation between the Top 14 and the next level down, the Rugby Pro D2. The fourteen best rugby teams in France participate in the competition, hence the name Top 14. The competition was previously known as the Top 16.

Contents

The league is one of the three major professional leagues in Europe (along with the English Premiership and the United Rugby Championship, which brings together top clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and South Africa), from which the most successful European teams go forward to compete in the European Rugby Champions Cup, the pan-European championship which replaced the Heineken Cup after the 2013–14 season.

The first ever final took place in 1892, between two Paris-based sides, Stade Français and Racing Club de France, which were the only teams playing the competition that year, with the latter becoming the inaugural champions. Since then, the competition has been held on an annual basis, except from 1915 to 1919—because of World War I—and from 1940 to 1942—because of World War II. Each year, the winning team is presented with the Bouclier de Brennus, a famous trophy awarded from 1892. Toulouse is the most successful club in the competition with 22 titles.

History

Early years

Rugby union introduction

Football was introduced in France by British traders and workers around the 1870s. The first known club to have practiced a form of football was the Havre Athletic Club in 1872, playing an hybrid code called the "combination".
The first true club to have played rugby union was the English Taylors RFC in 1877, followed by the Paris Football Club in 1878.
In the idea to copy the British model of public school, a lot of students' clubs appeared as well to practice athleticism and rugby, like the Racing Club de France (creation of Lycée Condorcet students in 1882), the Stade Français (creation of Lycée Saint-Louis students in 1883) and the Olympique (creation of Lycée Michelet (Vanves) students in 1887).
At the same time, rugby was also introduced via the port of Bordeaux to south-western France, and quickly merged with popular local traditions of ball games.

First title

Arbitrated by Pierre de Coubertin, the first title of France champion was played on one match, between the Racing and the Stade Français, on 20 March 1892. The Racing Club de France won the match 4–3. This embryonic league was played between only Parisian teams, and no more than six of them, until 1898. The Stade Français won 5 titles, and lost one final to the Olympique in this early stage of the league.

Bordeaux domination

The 1898–99 season saw a change in the format of the championship. The champion of Paris now met in a final for the national title the champion of the "province" (the rest of France). That changed again in 1904 with the creation of 16 regional leagues, the champions of which were qualified for a round of 16.

The championship, now truly on a national scale, saw the emergence of the first true dynasty of French rugby, with the domination of the Stade Bordelais, who played 12 of the 13 finals between 1899 and 1911, winning 7 of them. The reign was stopped by three consecutive elimination in semi-finals, and other south-western cities' clubs, like Perpignan, Bayonne and Toulouse, took charge of the sport.

After the WWI

Toulouse first dynasty

Due to WWI, operations were suspended for a number of years. In its place, a competition known as the Coupe de l'Espérance was held, which involved mostly young boys who had not been drafted. The competition was held four times, but is not normally considered a full championship. The normal competition returned for the 1920 season, and Stadoceste Tarbais became the first post-war champions, defeating the Racing Club de France in the final.
During the 1920s Stade Toulousain initiated its now famous rugby history, winning five Championships during the decade (Stade's very first feat took place in 1912 when they were crowned champions without losing a single game throughout the season: the team was nicknamed "la Vierge Rouge" — the Red Virgin, a reference to the club shirt color). USA Perpignan also won two championships (their 1925 final victory was actually a second match, as a previous final had ended in a nil-all draw).

Crisis

The 1930 Championship final, won by Agen over US Quillan, was the first to go into extra time. The 1930s were dominated by the Biarritz Olympique (four finals and two championship titles) and the Lyon Olympique Université (three finals and two titles). However, those dominations were sour, because of extra-sportive turmoil who shake french rugby union in this decade. Brawl on the pitch and in the stand, and disguise professionalism (nickname "brown amateurism") had become quite common.

The most stunning example of brown amateurism was the US Quillan, a club of a 3000 inhabitants village who manage to go to three final and win one of them because Jean Bourrel, the owner of the village hat factory, wanted to use the club as advertising billboard for its product, and offer paid position in his factory to rugby players.

On the 24 of January 1931, 14 rugby union club, amongst them 7 former french champion, secede from the French Rugby Federation to protest against the abuses who tarnished rugby union image in the country. Despite a reintegration of those club in 1932, this event had deep consequences.

The four British team decided after this incident to ban France from the Five Nations. Coupled to the effect of the economical crisis, the number of club affiliated to the FFR dropped, from 784 in 1930 to 558 in 1939. This crisis also quickstarted rugby league in France, who go from no club existing in the country in 1934 to 225 in 1939, among them 14 fully professional.

After WWII

WWII

As during the First World War, the championship was suspended. Rugby union was one of the least affected sports by the German occupation, as it conformed to the amateur vision of sport cultivated by fascist ideology, and its location mainly in the unoccupied south meant that it was far removed from overly severe repression.
The Vichy regime tried to turn rugby union into a kind of national amateur sport for all, by banning all professional sports in 1941, which dealt a terrible blow to football association and rugby league.
In 1942, the rugby union league was reinstated, with Jean Dauger's Bayonne, Puig-Aubert's USA Perpignan and Albert Ferrasse and Guy Basquet's Agen among the big team.

Lourdes dynasty

Rugby union experienced a wave of growth after the war, thanks to the civilian population's desire to forget the horrors of war, France's reintegration into the prestigious Five Nations Tournament and the return of clubs that had opted for rugby league before the war to the FFR fold, such as Béziers. The retention of a large number of teams in the championship (between 40 and 80 until 1991) also helped local identification with rugby. The 40s saw the appearance of the Tarn department on the French rugby map, with Castres double and US Carmaux victory, but above all the emergence of a new dynasty.
With a core group of 8 international players - Antoine Labazuy, Jean and Maurice Prat, Thomas Mantérola, Louis Guinle and Roger Martine - FC Lourdes contested 10 finals between 1945 and 1960, winning 7 titles.
The 60's were highly contested, with 8 different winner, including three SU Agen titles.
Lourdes were also the champions of the 1968 season, but due to the May 1968 events, the final was played three weeks behind normal schedule. At the end of regulation time the score was tied at 6–6, and then 9–9 after extra time. Lourdes were declared champions because they had scored two tries to Toulon's none and also because there was no time to schedule a third final as the France national team were about to leave on a tour to New Zealand and South Africa.

Béziers dynasty

Although Béziers won their first Championship in the 1961 season, it would be the 1970s which would see a golden era for the club, under the command of the coach Raoul Barrière, as they would win ten Championships between 1971 and 1984, as well as being runners-up in 1976. The club also established a lot of record : a 100–0 win against Montchanin in September 1975, 11 years and 9 months of invicibility at home, and five entire season (1961, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1978) without a single defeat. In the mid-1970s, after being held in Toulouse, Lyon and Bordeaux, the final was fixed on a permanent basis to the newly reconstructed Parc des Princes in Paris.

Teachers against Teacher

Former number eight of the club in the 60's, and teacher in highschool and university, Daniel Herrero was named as headcoach of RC Toulon in 1983. He transformed the RCT, go 7 years invincible at home and to three finals, winning in 1987. Its main opponent was the resurgence of the Stade Toulousain, with a generation nicknamed "the gymnastic professor team", because of the job of 8 of them. Toulouse won in 1989 the tenth title of his history.

The first match of the 1990s went into extra time, as the Racing Club de France defeated Agen, winning their first Championship since 1959. Bègles, Toulon, Castres and Toulouse would win the following finals.

The decade saw the league going more and more toward professionalism, with a reduction of the number of team authorized to play in the elite from 40 in 1995 to 16 in 2001.

Professionalism Era

15 years between three teams...

The 15 first years of the newly professional were dominated by three teams. Including their 1994 & 1995 victory, Toulouse won four championships in succession, and three others in 1999, 2001 and 2008.
Biarritz won in 2002 its first title since 1939, then two others in 2005 and 2006, with a core of players like Marc and Thomas Lièvremont, Joe Roff and Dimitri Yachvili. But the team who benefits the most of professionalism was the Stade Français. After the success at the beginning of the sport, this club had been stuck for a long period in the inferiors division of french rugby. Bought by Max Guazzini, the owner of the successful radio station NRJ, the club came back from nowhere with a core of young and exciting players coached by Bernard Laporte to claim five title between 1998 and 2007

Then 8 champions in 14 years

Encouraged by the Stade Français experience, other fortunate individuals invested in Top 14 : Mohed Altrad in Montpellier, Mourad Boudjellal in Toulon, assembled teams of star to compete for the title. Those rich newcomers, however, have not completely topple the traditional teams.
Since 2010, Toulouse, driven by his powerful academy, won 5 title, while Clermont and Castres, the two other team to have never been relegated in the professional era, both won two.

Rising popularity

Top 14 logo used through the 2011-12 season. Top 14 Logo.png
Top 14 logo used through the 2011–12 season.

The competition saw an enormous rise in popularity in 2005–06, with attendance rising to an average of 9,600, up by 25% from 2004 to 2005, and numerous sellouts. On 15 October 2005, Stade Français drew a crowd of 79,502 at Stade de France for their home match against Toulouse; this broke the previous French attendance record for a regular-season league match in any sport (including football) by over 20,000. That record was broken on 4 March 2006, when Stade Français drew 79,604 to a rematch of the 2004–05 final against Biarritz at Stade de France. It was broken again on 14 October 2006 with 79,619 as the same two opponents met, and a fourth time on 27 January 2007, with 79,741 for another Stade Français-Toulouse match. [2] During the regular season 2010–2011, the average attendance per match reached 14,184. [3]

In 2011, Canal+ indicated that evening matches were being watched by between 800,000 and 850,000 viewers while afternoon matches were watched by around 700,000 viewers. [4]

In recent years, numerous foreign players have joined Top 14 teams.

Changes afoot

In August 2016, LNR released a strategic plan outlining its vision for French rugby through the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The plan includes significant changes to the top levels of the league system, although the changes were more dramatic for Pro D2 than for the Top 14. Changes affecting the Top 14 are: [5]

On 13 March 2017, the Top 14 was rocked by the announcement that Racing 92 and Stade Français planned to merge into a single club effective with the 2017–18 season. [6] Stade Français players soon voted almost unanimously to go on strike over the proposed merger, [7] and within days LNR held an emergency meeting to discuss the Paris clubs' plans. [8] The clubs announced on 19 March that the planned merger had collapsed. [9]

Controversy

The 1993 French Rugby Union Championship was won by Castres, who beat Grenoble 14–11 in the final, a match decided by an irregular try. [10] A try by Grenoble's Olivier Brouzet was ruled out [11] and the decisive try by Gary Whetton of Castres was awarded by the referee, Daniel Salles, when in fact Grenoble scrum-half Franck Hueber had touched the ball down first in his try zone. This error gave the title to Castres. Salles admitted his mistake 13 years later. [12] Jacques Fouroux, then coach of Grenoble, came into conflict with the French Rugby Federation after claiming the match had been fixed. [13]

Current clubs

ClubEstablishedCity (department)StadiumCapacity Previous season Seasons in First Division
Bayonne 1904 Bayonne (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) Stade Jean-Dauger 14,3708th91
Bordeaux Bègles 2006 [lower-alpha 1] Bordeaux (Gironde) Stade Chaban-Delmas [lower-alpha 2] 34,4626th (Semi-finals)12
Castres 1906 Castres (Tarn) Stade Pierre-Fabre 12,3009th81
Clermont 1911 Clermont-Ferrand (Puy-de-Dôme) Stade Marcel-Michelin 19,35710th94
La Rochelle 1898 La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime) Stade Marcel-Deflandre 16,0002nd (Runners-up)62
Lyon 1896 Lyon (Métropole de Lyon) Stade de Gerland 35,0003rd (Semi-final Qualifiers)56
Montpellier 1986 Montpellier (Hérault) GGL Stadium 15,69711th27
Oyonnax 1909 Oyonnax (Ain) Stade Charles-Mathon 11,500Promoted from Pro D2 5
Pau 1902 Pau (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) Stade du Hameau 14,58812th83
Perpignan 1933 [lower-alpha 3] Perpignan (Pyrénées-Orientales) Stade Aimé-Giral 14,59313th (Relegation playoff winners)82
Racing 1882 Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) Paris La Défense Arena 30,6805th (Semi-finals)103
Stade Français 1883 Paris Stade Jean-Bouin 20,0004th (Semi-final Qualifiers)71
Toulon 1908 Toulon (Var) Stade Mayol [lower-alpha 4] 17,5007th97
Toulouse 1907 Toulouse (Haute-Garonne) Stade Ernest-Wallon [lower-alpha 5] 19,5001st (Champions)105
Notes
  1. Union Bordeaux Bègles was founded as a result of a merger between Stade Bordelais and CA Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde senior teams in 2006.
  2. In recent years, Bordeaux Bègles has taken occasional home matches to Matmut Atlantique.
  3. Union Sportive Arlequins Perpignanais was founded as a result of a merger between US Perpignan and Arlequins Perpignanais in 1933.
  4. In recent years, Toulon has taken occasional home matches to Stade Vélodrome in Marseille and Allianz Riviera in Nice.
  5. Toulouse often takes high-demand home matches to the city's largest sporting venue, Stadium de Toulouse.

Current venues

Lyon Bordeaux Nanterre Paris Toulouse
Stade de Gerland Stade Chaban-Delmas Paris La Défense Arena Stade Jean-Bouin Stade Ernest-Wallon
Capacity: 25,000Capacity: 34,462Capacity: 30,680Capacity: 20,000Capacity: 19,500
Matmut stadium de gerland.jpg Stade Chaban-Delmas Rugby.jpg SuperSevens (cropped).jpg Match Rugby XV Stade Francais x Stade Rochelais - Stade Jean Bouin - Paris XVI (FR75) - 2021-12-05 - 15.jpg Stade Ernest Wallon.jpg
Clermont-Ferrand Toulon
Stade Marcel-Michelin Stade Mayol
Capacity: 19,357Capacity: 17,500
Stade Michelin.jpg RCT-MHR-07112015.jpg
La Rochelle Montpellier
Stade Marcel-Deflandre GGL Stadium
Capacity: 16,000Capacity: 15,697
Tribune Apivia (cropped).jpg MHR vs USAP tour d honneur.JPG
Perpignan Pau Bayonne Castres Oyonnax
Stade Aimé-Giral Stade du Hameau Stade Jean-Dauger Stade Pierre-Fabre Stade Charles-Mathon
Capacity: 14,593Capacity: 14,588Capacity: 14,370Capacity: 12,300Capacity: 11,500
Usap aime giral.JPG Stade du Hameau Pau.jpg Bayonne-Stade Jean Dauger-AB 23 TFC 11-20131229.jpg Stade Pierre Fabre.jpg Stade Charles Mathon a Oyonnax.jpg

Economic strength of the clubs

Over recent years, the Top 14 has seen the economic strength of its clubs rise significantly. Aided by high attendance, large television rights contracts, [14] public subsidies and the rise of the euro exchange rate, [15] Top 14 clubs have seen their overall spending budget increase significantly. In 2011–2012, four clubs had a budget over 20 million euros: Toulouse (33), Clermont (24), Racing Métro [now Racing 92] (22), Stade Francais (21). [16] The average salary of players in the Top 14 was estimated to have risen, in 2010, to $153,700 (compared to $123,000 in the English Premiership). [17] The wealth of the Top 14 clubs has led them to attract a large number of international players, [18] and to build teams with more strength in depth (in 2011, Top 14 clubs could have as many as 45 players, compared to 33 for Leicester Tigers, 2010 Premiership winner). [19]

Two recent changes in regulation threatened to limit this economic growth. First, the French government repealed the law known as DIC (Droit à l'Image Collectif) on 1 July 2010. This law had allowed all member clubs in French professional sports organisations to treat 30% of each player's salary as image rights. This portion of player salaries was thus exempt from France's high payroll and social insurance taxes. [20]

Second, to control the growth of club spending, the LNR introduced a salary cap in the Top 14 in the 2010–11 season. Under the provisions of the cap, team payrolls were limited to €8 million. [21] This is in addition to an existing requirement that wage bills be no more than 50% of a team's turnover. [22] However, the €8 million cap was 5% greater than the highest official wage bill in the 2009–10 Top 14, and was well above the English Premiership's then-current £4 million cap. For the 2011–2012 season, the LNR raised the salary cap to €8.7 million. [23] Since then, the cap has risen still further, to €10 million starting in 2013–14 and continuing through 2015–16. Additionally, the cap now excludes youth players whose salaries are no more than €50,000. [24]

At the same time as LNR announced the salary cap, it also announced new rules requiring a minimum percentage of French players on club rosters. Players qualifying under these rules, referred to in French as JIFF (joueurs issus des filières de formation, loosely translated as "academy-trained players"), must have been registered with the FFR for at least five years before turning 23, or have spent three seasons in an FFR-approved training centre before turning 21. [25] [21] Original plans were to require 50% JIFFs in 2010–11, but protests from leading clubs led to a reduction to 40% for that season. Initially, the 50% quota was to be met in 2011–12, and 60% in 2012–13, but a compromise with the clubs saw no change to the limit until 2013–14, at which time it increased to 55%. Additionally, effective in 2015–16, LNR was allowed to fine clubs that did not have a minimum of 12 JIFFs in their matchday squads. [25] These regulations, however, do not consider eligibility to play for the France national team. For example, although the Armitage brothers (Delon, Steffon and Guy) all represented England internationally, they qualified as JIFF because of their tenure in Nice's youth setup. On the other hand, recent France international Jérôme Thion, despite being a native and lifelong resident of France, did not qualify because he switched from basketball to rugby too late in his youth. [26]

While the most visible critics of the change in policy were wealthy club owners such as Mourad Boudjellal of Toulon and Max Guazzini of Stade Français, concern had been growing in French rugby circles that some smaller clubs might fold completely. Bourgoin only avoided a bankruptcy filing in 2009 by players agreeing to large wage cuts, and Brive, whose 2009–10 wage bill was €7.2 million, announced that they would cut their budget by 40% for the 2010–11 season. [20] Following the 2009–10 season, Bourgoin were denied a professional licence by LNR due to their ongoing financial issues, but the French Rugby Federation (FFR) reversed this decision on Bourgoin's appeal. [27] Montauban were relegated at the end of the same season after filing for bankruptcy. [28]

By the 2012–13 season, the internationalization of the Top 14 had reached such a state that Irish rugby journalist Ian Moriarty, who has had considerable experience covering the French game, asked the rhetorical question, "Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side they are supposed to serve?" He cited the following statistics from that season to make his point: [29]

While the JIFF policy worked on one level—the number of foreign players recruited into the Top 14 went from 61 for 2011–12 to 34 for 2014–15—clubs quickly found a way around the rules. Many clubs dispatched scouts to identify top teenage prospects in other countries, and then enrolled them in their academies to start the JIFF qualification process. For example, the 59 players in the 2015–16 Clermont youth squad included 17 from nine countries outside of France. [25] A more fundamental problem was identified in 2015 by Laurent Labit, at the time backs coach of the club now known as Racing 92. In an interview with British rugby journalist Gavin Mortimer, Labit pointed out that France has no organized team sport in its educational system at the primary level—children must join an outside club in order to play sports. Only at age 15 do youths have the opportunity to attend special sporting schools, but places in such institutions are limited. In turn, this means that most young French players are technically well behind their counterparts in many other countries, most notably Commonwealth members and Ireland. [30]

Format and structure

Final ASM vs Stade Francais Final top 14 2007-1.jpg
Final ASM vs Stade Français

The Top 14 is contested by fourteen professional rugby union clubs throughout France. The domestic season runs from August through to June. Every club contests 26 games during the regular season – over 26 rounds of competition. For many years, the season was split into two-halves for scheduling purposes, with both halves scheduled in the same order, with the team at home in the first half of the season on the road in the second. However, this strict order has since been abandoned, although the season is still loosely divided into halves. Throughout the August–June competition there are breaks during the season, as there are also European club fixtures (from 2014 to 2015, Champions Cup and Challenge Cup) that are played during the rugby season, as well as the Six Nations Championship, in which many top French players are involved, as well as a few players from the other European powers. The schedule may be adjusted somewhat in World Cup years; this was especially true in the 2007–08 season, which ran up against the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. That season, the Top 14 played on all of the Six Nations weekends and on some of the Heineken Cup weekends.

The Top 14 is organized by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR), which runs the professional rugby leagues within France (Top 14 and Rugby Pro D2). There is a promotion and relegation system between the Top 14 and Pro D2. Starting with the 2017–18 season, only the lowest-placed club in the table after the regular season is automatically relegated to Pro D2. The playoff champion of Pro D2 is automatically promoted, while the next-to-last Top 14 club and the playoff runner-up of Pro D2 play each other to determine which club will be in Top 14, and which will be in Pro D2 the following season. Starting with the 2009–10 season, the Top 14 knock-out stages consist of three rounds. The teams finishing third through to sixth in the table play quarter-finals, hosted by the No. 3 and No. 4 teams. The winners then face the top two seeds in the semi-finals, whose winners then meet in the final at the Stade de France (although the 2016 final was instead held at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain due to a scheduling conflict with France's hosting of UEFA Euro 2016). In previous seasons, only the top four teams qualified for semi-finals. Unlike many other major rugby competitions (such as the Gallagher Premiership, Mitre 10 Cup, Currie Cup, and from 2009 to 2010 the Celtic League/Pro12), the Top 14 has traditionally held its semi-finals at neutral sites.

Regardless of the playoff format, the top six teams had qualified for the following season's Heineken Cup in the final years of that competition, and since 2013–14 a minimum of six teams qualify for the European Rugby Champions Cup. Before the 2009–10 season, the seventh-place team also qualified if a French club advanced farther in that season's Heineken Cup than any team from England or Italy. While the European qualification system was changed for 2009–10, the normal contingent of six Top 14 teams in the Heineken Cup did not change. The default number of French teams in the Champions Cup has remained at six, but the method for a seventh French team to qualify has changed from performance in the previous European season to a post-season playoff. For the inaugural Champions Cup in 2014–15, this playoff involved the seventh-place teams from both England and the Top 14; in future years, the same two sides will be joined by one Pro12 side.

Previously in the first phase of the then-Top 16, the teams were divided into two pools of eight. This was followed by a second phase, in which the eight highest-ranked teams played for semi-final spots and the bottom eight teams battled against relegation. In 2004–05, the top division consisted of a single pool of 16 teams, with the top four teams advancing to a knockout playoff at the end of the season to determine the champion. From 2005 to 2006 through 2008–09, the top division was run with a single pool of 14 teams, again with a season-ending four-team playoff. The single pool was retained for 2009–10, but the playoffs were expanded to six teams.

The LNR uses a slightly different bonus points system from that used in most other major domestic competitions. Instead of a bonus point being awarded for scoring 4 tries in a match, regardless of the match result, a bonus point is awarded to a winning team that scores the equivalent of 3 tries more than its opponent (15 points). This system makes two scenarios that can be seen in the standard system impossible:

For 2014–15, LNR further tweaked its bonus point system. The margin of defeat that allows the losing team to earn a bonus point was reduced from 7 points to 5.

European competition

The Top 14 serves as the qualification route for French clubs in European club competition. Starting with the 2014–15 season, Top 14 teams compete in the new European club rugby competitions—the European Rugby Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Champions Cup and Challenge Cup replaced the previous European competitions, the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup. [31]

Under the new structure, the top six teams on the Top 14 table qualify directly for the following season's Champions Cup. The seventh-placed team advances to a play-off for another Champions Cup place. In 2013–14, the play-off involved said Top 14 club and the seventh-placed club in the English Premiership. Initially, plans were for the play-off in subsequent years to also include two sides from Pro12 in the Celtic nations and Italy. [31] Due to fixture clashes with the Top 14 season, the play-off that followed the 2014–15 season involved only one Pro12 side. [32] Because the start of the 2015–16 European season ran up against the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the play-off was completely scrapped for that season, with the final Champions Cup place for 2016–17 instead awarded to the winner of the 2016 Challenge Cup.

In the Heineken Cup era, a minimum of six French clubs qualified for the Heineken Cup, with the possibility of a seventh depending on the performance of French clubs in the previous season's Heineken Cup and Challenge Cup.

All Top 14 clubs that do not qualify for the Champions Cup automatically qualify for the Challenge Cup. [31] This means that all Top 14 clubs will participate in European competition during a given season.

The French clubs have had success in the European competitions. The inaugural Heineken Cup, held in the 1995–96 season, was won by Toulouse, which would eventually claim four more championships (2003, 2005, 2010 and 2021). Brive won the second edition in 1997, then Toulon won three times in a row in 2013, 2014 and 2015. La Rochelle finally won the trophy on two occasions in 2022 and 2023, both finals against Leinster. In addition to the French success in the Heineken Cup and Champions Cup, the clubs in the lower European competitions have achieved similar results. The first four finals of the European Challenge Cup (1997–2000) were all-French affairs. Since then, six French clubs (Clermont in 2007, Biarritz in 2012, Montpellier in 2016 and 2021, Stade Français in 2017, Lyon in 2022, and Toulon in 2023) have won this competition. The now defunct European Shield, a repechage tournament for clubs knocked out in the first round of the Challenge Cup that was played for three seasons in 2003–05, was won by a French team each time.

Table

2023–24 Top 14 Table
ClubPlayedWonDrawnLostPoints ForPoints AgainstPoints Diff.Try BonusLosing BonusPoints
1 Racing 12804352223+1294440
2 Bordeaux Bègles 12804330263+672236
3 Stade Français 12714238199+392133
4 Toulouse 12705297243+543132
5 Toulon 12705305238+672232
6 Pau 12705268246+222131
7 Castres 12606309281+283330
8 La Rochelle 12606260217+432430
9 Clermont 12516274287–132226
10 Bayonne 12507243290-471324
11 Perpignan 12507246362–1161021
12 Oyonnax 12507255345-900020
13 Lyon 12408250375–1252220
14 Montpellier 12309225283–580416

If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:

  1. Competition points earned in head-to-head matches
  2. Points difference in head-to-head matches
  3. Try differential in head-to-head matches
  4. Points difference in all matches
  5. Try differential in all matches
  6. Points scored in all matches
  7. Tries scored in all matches
  8. Fewer matches forfeited
  9. Classification in the previous Top 14 season
Green background (rows 1 and 2) receive semi-final play-off places and receive berths in the 2024–25 European Rugby Champions Cup.
Blue background (rows 3 to 6) receive quarter-final play-off places, and receive berths in the Champions Cup.
Plain background indicates teams that earn a place in the 2024–25 European Rugby Challenge Cup.
Pink background (row 13) will be contest a play-off with the runners-up of the 2023–24 Rugby Pro D2 season for a place in the 2024–25 Top 14 season.
Red background (row 14) will be relegated to Rugby Pro D2.
Updated: 7 January 2024

Marketing

Broadcasting rights

TerritoryRights holderRef.
Flag of France.svg France Groupe Canal+ [33]
France Télévisions (final only) [34]
Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia BeIN Sports [35]
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Canada FloSports [36]
Caribbean Canal+ Caraïbes
Central Asia Setanta Sports [37]
Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland Premier Sports [38]
Flag of Japan.svg Japan TV Asahi (until 2022) [39]
Latin America (except Brazil) ESPN [40]
Star+ [40]
Flag of New Zealand.svg New Zealand Sky Sport via BeIN Sports [37]
Pacific Islands Digicel [37]
Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa SABC (final only) [37]
Sub-Saharan Africa Canal+ Afrique [37]
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom Viaplay Sports [38]
Flag of the United States.svg United States FloSports [36]
Worldwide TV5Monde (10 matches: 5 at the end of RS, 5 until final) [37]

Sponsorship

The following brands and companies sponsored the Top 14 for the 2022–23 season: [41]

Total wins

The following clubs have won the title: [1]

Bold indicates clubs playing in 2023–24 Top 14 season.

ClubWinsRunners-upWinning Seasons
Stade Toulousain 227 1912, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1947, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2019, 2021, 2023
Stade Français 149 1893, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1901, 1903, 1908, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2015
AS Béziers 114 1961, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984
SU Agen 86 1930, 1945, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1976, 1982, 1988
FC Lourdes 83 1948, 1952, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1968
Stade Bordelais 75 1899, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1909, 1911
Racing 92 67 1892, 1900, 1902, 1959, 1990, 2016
Biarritz Olympique 53 1935, 1939, 2002, 2005, 2006
Castres Olympique 53 1949, 1950, 1993, 2013, 2018
RC Toulonnais 49 1931, 1987, 1992, 2014
USA Perpignan 47 1938, 1944, 1955, 2009
Aviron Bayonnais 34 1913, 1934, 1943
Section Paloise 30 1928, 1946, 1964
ASM Clermont Auvergne 212 2010, 2017
Stadoceste Tarbais 23 1920, 1973
RC Narbonne 23 1936, 1979
US Perpignan22 1921, 1925
Lyon OU 21 1932, 1933
CA Bordeaux-Bègles 21 1969, 1991
Stade Montois 13 1963
Olympique 12 1896
US Quillan 12 1929
Montpellier Hérault Rugby 12 2022
FC Grenoble 11 1954
FC Lyon 10 1910
AS Perpignan10 1914
CS Vienne 10 1937
US Carmaux 10 1951
US Montauban 10 1967
ROC La Voulte-Valence 10 1970 (as La Voulte Sportif)
US Dax 05
CA Brive 04
SCUF 02
Stade Bagnérais 02
Stade Rochelais 02
US Carcassonne 01
FC Lézignan 01
US Cognac 01
SC Mazamet 01
Nice UR 01
CS Bourgoin-Jallieu 01
US Colomiers 01

Finals 1892–1995

The scores in green are links to the account of each final on the site of the professional league (LNR). In French.

YearChampionScoreRunner-upPlaceSpectators
20 March 1892 Racing Club de France 4–3 Stade Français Bagatelle, Paris [42] 2,000
19 May 1893 Stade Français 7–3 Racing Club de France Bécon-les-Bruyères1,200
18 March 1894 Stade Français 18–0 Inter NOSBécon-les-Bruyères1,500
17 March 1895 Stade Français 16–0 Olympique Stade Vélodrome, Courbevoie ...
5 April 1896 Olympique 12–0 Stade Français Vélodrome, Courbevoie ...
1897 Stade Français [43] Olympique ......
1898 Stade Français [44] Racing Club de France ......
30 April 1899 Stade Bordelais 5–3 Stade Français Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat [45] 3,000
22 April 1900 Racing Club de France 37–3 Stade Bordelais Levallois-Perret 1,500
31 March 1901 Stade Français 0–3 [46] Stade Bordelais Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat ...
23 March 1902 Racing Club de France 6–0 Stade Bordelais Parc des Princes, Paris1,000
26 April 1903 Stade Français 16–8 SOE Toulouse Prairie des Filtres, Toulouse 5,000
27 March 1904 Stade Bordelais 3–0 Stade Français La Faisanderie, Saint-Cloud 2,000
16 April 1905 Stade Bordelais 12–3 Stade Français Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat 6,000
8 April 1906 Stade Bordelais 9–0 Stade Français Parc des Princes, Paris4,000
24 March 1907 Stade Bordelais 14–3 Stade Français Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat 12,000
5 April 1908 Stade Français 16–3 Stade Bordelais Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes 10,000
4 April 1909 Stade Bordelais 17–0 Stade Toulousain Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 15,000
17 April 1910 FC Lyon 13–8 Stade Bordelais Parc des Princes, Paris8,000
8 April 1911 Stade Bordelais 14–0 SCUF Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat 12,000
31 March 1912 Stade Toulousain 8–6 Racing Club de France Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 15,000
20 April 1913 Aviron Bayonnais 31–8 SCUF Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes 20,000
3 May 1914AS Perpignan 8–7 Stadoceste Tarbais Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 15.000
1915–1919Due to the war, the championship was replaced by the Coupe de l'Espérance
25 April 1920 Stadoceste Tarbais 8–3 Racing Club de France Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat 20,000
17 April 1921US Perpignan 5–0 Stade Toulousain Parc des Sports de Sauclières, Béziers 20,000
23 April 1922 Stade Toulousain 6–0 Aviron Bayonnais Route du Médoc, Le Bouscat 20,000
13 May 1923 Stade Toulousain 3–0 Aviron Bayonnais Stade Yves-du-Manoir, Colombes 15,000
27 April 1924 Stade Toulousain 3–0 US Perpignan Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 20,000
3 May 1925US Perpignan 5–0 [47] US Carcassonne Maraussan, Narbonne 20,000
2 May 1926 Stade Toulousain 11–0 US Perpignan Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 25,000
29 May 1927 Stade Toulousain 19–9 Stade Français Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 20,000
6 May 1928 Section Paloise 6–4 US Quillan Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 20,000
19 May 1929 US Quillan 11–8 FC Lézignan Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 20,000
18 May 1930 SU Agen 4–0 a.e.t. US Quillan Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 28,000
10 May 1931 RC Toulon 6–3 Lyon OU Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 10,000
5 May 1932 Lyon OU 9–3 RC Narbonne Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 13,000
7 May 1933 Lyon OU 10–3 RC Narbonne Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 15,000
13 May 1934 Aviron Bayonnais 13–8 Biarritz Olympique Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 18,000
12 May 1935 Biarritz Olympique 3–0 USA Perpignan Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 23,000
10 May 1936 RC Narbonne 6–3 AS Montferrand Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 25,000
2 May 1937 CS Vienne 13–7 AS Montferrand Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 17,000
8 May 1938 USA Perpignan 11–6 Biarritz Olympique Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 24,600
30 April 1939 Biarritz Olympique 6–0 a.e.t. USA Perpignan Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 23,000
1940–1942Due to World War II, no championship was played
21 March 1943 Aviron Bayonnais 3–0 SU Agen Parc des Princes, Paris28,000
26 March 1944 USA Perpignan 20–5 Aviron Bayonnais Parc des Princes, Paris35,000
7 April 1945 SU Agen 7–3 FC Lourdes Parc des Princes, Paris30,000
24 March 1946 Section Paloise 11–0 FC Lourdes Parc des Princes, Paris30,000
13 April 1947 Stade Toulousain 10–3 SU Agen Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 25,000
18 April 1948 FC Lourdes 11–3 RC Toulon Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 29,753
22 May 1949 Castres Olympique 14–3 [48] Stade Montois Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 23,000
16 April 1950 Castres Olympique 11–8 Racing Club de France Stade des Ponts Jumeaux, Toulouse 25,000
20 May 1951 US Carmaux 14–12 a.e.t. Stadoceste Tarbais Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 39,450
4 May 1952 FC Lourdes 20–11 USA Perpignan Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 32,500
17 May 1953 FC Lourdes 21–16 Stade Montois Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 32,500
23 May 1954 FC Grenoble 5–3 US Cognac Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 34,230
22 May 1955 USA Perpignan 11–6 FC Lourdes Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 39,764
3 June 1956 FC Lourdes 20–0 US Dax Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 38,426
26 May 1957 FC Lourdes 16–13 Racing Club de France Stade Gerland, Lyon 30,000
18 May 1958 FC Lourdes 25–8 SC Mazamet Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 37,164
24 May 1959 Racing Club de France 8–3 Stade Montois Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 31,098
22 May 1960 FC Lourdes 14–11 AS Béziers Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 37,200
28 May 1961 AS Béziers 6–3 US Dax Stade de Gerland, Lyon 35,000
27 May 1962 SU Agen 14–11 AS Béziers Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 37,705
2 June 1963 Stade Montois 9–6 US Dax Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 39,000
24 May 1964 Section Paloise 14–0 AS Béziers Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 27.797
23 May 1965 SU Agen 15–8 CA Brive Stade Gerland, Lyon 28,758
22 May 1966 SU Agen 9–8 US Dax Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 28,803
28 May 1967 US Montauban 11–3 CA Béglais Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 32,115
16 June 1968 FC Lourdes 9–9 a.e.t. [49] RC Toulon Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 28,526
18 May 1969 CA Béglais 11–9 Stade Toulousain Stade Gerland, Lyon 22,191
17 May 1970 La Voulte Sportif 3–0 AS Montferrand Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 35,000
16 May 1971 AS Béziers 15–9 a.e.t. RC Toulon Parc Lescure, Bordeaux 27,737
21 May 1972 AS Béziers 9–0 CA Brive Stade Gerland, Lyon 31,161
20 May 1973 Stadoceste Tarbais 18–12 US Dax Stadium Municipal, Toulouse 26,952
12 May 1974 AS Béziers 16–14 RC Narbonne Parc des Princes, Paris40,609
18 May 1975 AS Béziers 13–12 CA Brive Parc des Princes, Paris39,991
23 May 1976 SU Agen 13–10 a.e.t. AS Béziers Parc des Princes, Paris40,300
29 May 1977 AS Béziers 12–4 USA Perpignan Parc des Princes, Paris41,821
28 May 1978 AS Béziers 31–9 AS Montferrand Parc des Princes, Paris42,004
27 May 1979 RC Narbonne 10–0 Stade Bagnérais Parc des Princes, Paris41,981
25 May 1980 AS Béziers 10–6 Stade Toulousain Parc des Princes, Paris43,350
23 May 1981 AS Béziers 22–13 Stade Bagnérais Parc des Princes, Paris44,106
29 May 1982 SU Agen 18–9 Aviron Bayonnais Parc des Princes, Paris41,165
28 May 1983 AS Béziers 14–6 RRC Nice Parc des Princes, Paris43,100
26 May 1984 AS Béziers 21–21 a.e.t. [50] SU Agen Parc des Princes, Paris44,076
25 May 1985 Stade Toulousain 36–22 a.e.t. RC Toulon Parc des Princes, Paris37,000
24 May 1986 Stade Toulousain 16–6 SU Agen Parc des Princes, Paris45,145
22 May 1987 RC Toulon 15–12 Racing Club de France Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
28 May 1988 SU Agen 9–3 Stadoceste Tarbais Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
27 May 1989 Stade Toulousain 18–12 RC Toulon Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
26 May 1990 Racing Club de France 22–12 a.e.t. SU Agen Parc des Princes, Paris45,069
1 June 1991 CA Bordeaux-Bègles Gironde 19–10 Stade Toulousain Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
6 June 1992 RC Toulon 19–14 Biarritz Olympique Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
5 June 1993 Castres Olympique 14–11 FC Grenoble Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
28 May 1994 Stade Toulousain 22–16 AS Montferrand Parc des Princes, Paris48,000
6 May 1995 Stade Toulousain 31–16 Castres Olympique Parc des Princes, Paris48,615

Finals since 1996 (Professionalism)

The scores in green are links to the account of each final on the site of the professional league (LNR). In French.

YearChampionScoreRunner-upPlaceSpectators
1 June 1996 Stade Toulousain 20–13 CA Brive Parc des Princes, Paris48,162
31 May 1997 Stade Toulousain 12–6 CS Bourgoin-Jallieu Parc des Princes, Paris44,000
16 May 1998 Stade Français 34–7 USA Perpignan Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,000
29 May 1999 Stade Toulousain 15–11 AS Montferrand Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,000
15 July 2000 Stade Français 28–23 US Colomiers Stade de France, Saint-Denis 45,000
9 June 2001 Stade Toulousain 34–22 AS Montferrand Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,000
8 June 2002 Biarritz Olympique 25–22 a.e.t. SU Agen Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,457
7 June 2003 Stade Français 32–18 Stade Toulousain Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,000
26 June 2004 Stade Français 38–20 USA Perpignan Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,722
11 June 2005 Biarritz Olympique 37–34 a.e.t. [51] Stade Français Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,475
10 June 2006 Biarritz Olympique 40–13 Stade Toulousain Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,474
9 June 2007 Stade Français 23–18 ASM Clermont Auvergne Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,654
28 June 2008 Stade Toulousain 26–20 ASM Clermont Auvergne Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,275 [52]
6 June 2009 USA Perpignan 22–13 ASM Clermont Auvergne Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,205 [53]
29 May 2010 ASM Clermont Auvergne 19–6 USA Perpignan Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,262 [54]
4 June 2011 Stade Toulousain 15–10 Montpellier Hérault Rugby Stade de France, Saint-Denis 77,000 [55]
9 June 2012 Stade Toulousain 18–12 RC Toulon Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,612
1 June 2013 Castres Olympique 19–14 RC Toulon Stade de France, Saint-Denis 80,033 [56]
31 May 2014 RC Toulon 18–10 Castres Olympique Stade de France, Saint-Denis 80,174 [57]
13 June 2015 Stade Français 12–6 ASM Clermont Auvergne Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,000 [58]
24 June 2016 Racing 92 29–21 RC Toulon Camp Nou, Barcelona [lower-alpha 1] 99,124 [60]
4 June 2017 ASM Clermont Auvergne 22–16 RC Toulon Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,771 [61]
2 June 2018 Castres Olympique 29–13 Montpellier Hérault Rugby Stade de France, Saint-Denis 78,441 [62]
15 June 2019 Stade Toulousain 24–18 ASM Clermont Auvergne Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,786 [63]
2020Season cancelled without champion due to COVID-19 pandemic in France [64]
25 June 2021 Stade Toulousain 18–8 Stade Rochelais Stade de France, Saint-Denis 14,000 [65]
24 June 2022 Montpellier Hérault Rugby 29–10 Castres Olympique Stade de France, Saint-Denis 80,000 [66]
17 June 2023 Stade Toulousain 29–26 Stade Rochelais Stade de France, Saint-Denis 79,804 [67]
28 June 2024 Stade Vélodrome, Marseille [lower-alpha 2]
Notes
  1. The 2016 final was moved to the Camp Nou in Barcelona as the final clashed with UEFA Euro 2016, and therefore no stadium with sufficient capacity was available to host the final in France. [59]
  2. The 2024 final will be moved to the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille as the final will clash with the preperations of the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris

Player records

As of 28 February 2023

Appearances

RankPlayerClub(s)YearsApps
1 Flag of France.svg Thibaut Privat Nîmes, Béziers, Clermont, Montpellier, Lyon 1998–2017387
2 Flag of Uruguay.svg Rodrigo Capó Ortega Castres 2002–2020352
3 Flag of Samoa.svg Joe Tekori Castres, Toulouse 2007–2022326
4 Flag of France.svg Florian Fritz Bourgoin-Jallieu, Toulouse 2002–2018322
5 Flag of France.svg Aurélien Rougerie Clermont 1999–2018321
6 Flag of France.svg Yannick Nyanga Béziers, Toulouse, Racing 92 2002–2018315
7 Flag of France.svg Loïc Jacquet Clermont, Castres 2004–2022314
8 Flag of France.svg Grégory Lamboley Toulouse, La Rochelle 2001–2018309
9 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brock James Clermont, La Rochelle, Bordeaux Bègles 2006–2020307
10 Flag of France.svg Jean-Baptiste Poux Narbonne, Toulouse, Bordeaux Bègles 2001–2018303

Points

RankPlayerClub(s)YearsPoints
1 Flag of France.svg Richard Dourthe Dax, Stade Français, Béziers, Bordeaux Bègles, Castres, Bayonne 1996–20083,040
2 Flag of France.svg Romain Teulet Castres 2001–20142,612
3 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Brock James Clermont, La Rochelle, Bordeaux Bègles 2004–20202,494
4 Flag of France.svg Dimitri Yachvili Biarritz 2002–20142,304
5 Flag of France.svg Jonathan Wisniewski Castres, Racing 92, Grenoble, Toulon, Lyon 2006–20212,258
6 Flag of Argentina.svg Benjamín Urdapilleta Oyonnax, Castres 2013–2,166
7 Flag of France.svg Gaëtan Germain Bourgoin-Jallieu, Racing 92, Brive, Grenoble, Bayonne 2010–2,164
8 Flag of France.svg Lionel Beauxis Pau, Stade Français, Toulouse, Bordeaux Bègles, Lyon 2003–20191,931
9 Flag of France.svg David Skrela Colomiers, Stade Français, Toulouse, Clermont 1997–20131,967
10 Flag of France.svg Benjamin Boyet Bourgoin-Jallieu, Bayonne 1997–20131,789

Tries

RankPlayerClub(s)YearsTries
1 Flag of France.svg Vincent Clerc Grenoble, Toulouse, Toulon 2002–2018101
2 Flag of France.svg Laurent Arbo Pau, Castres, Montpellier, Perpignan 1991–2007100
3 Flag of France.svg Aurélien Rougerie Clermont 1999–201896
4 Flag of France.svg Maxime Medard Toulouse 2004–202291
5 Flag of Fiji.svg Napolioni Nalaga Clermont, Lyon 2006–201787
6 Flag of Fiji.svg Timoci Nagusa Montpellier 2010–202080
7 Flag of France.svg Julien Arias Colomiers, Stade Français 2001–201977
8 Flag of Argentina.svg Juan Imhoff Racing 92 2011–73
9 Flag of Fiji.svg Waisea Nayacalevu Stade Français, Toulon 2013–71
10 Flag of France.svg Cédric Heymans Toulouse 2001–201365

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

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  10. "Gerry Thornley: Grenoble's Jackman fast becoming one of top Irish coaches". irishtimes. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
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  42. Only 2 clubs took part. Match account in French Archived 26 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  43. The title was awarded after a round-robin with 5 clubs. Stade Français won with 10 points, Olympique de Paris was second with 8.
  44. The title was awarded after a round-robin with 6 clubs. Stade Français won with 10 points, Racing was second with 6.
  45. The first time provincial teams were invited.
  46. Stade Bordelais won the final 3–0, but the U.S.F.S.A. which organized the competition declared the final null and void and ordered a replay in Paris as Stade Bordelais had fielded three ineligible players; however, the replay was scratched and Stade Français were awarded the championship after the Bordeaux side refused to participate in the replay.
  47. A first final, played on 26 April 1925 in Toulouse, had ended on a 0–0 a.e.t. Archived 6 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine .
  48. A first final played on 15 May 1949 at Stade des Ponts Jumeaux in Toulouse had ended on a 3–3 draw (a.e.t.) Archived 25 November 2006 at the Wayback Machine .
  49. Because of the May 1968 events, the finale was played three weeks later than scheduled. The score was 6–6 after regulation time expired, and 9–9 after extra-time expired, but it was impossible to schedule a replay due to France leaving to tour to New Zealand and South Africa, so FC Lourdes were declared champions because they had scored 2 tries to Toulon’s zero in the final.
  50. Béziers won 3 goal-kicks to 1.
  51. The highest scoring final ever.
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  64. "Top 14 - Pro D2 : les présidents d'accord pour ne pas attribuer de titre". L'Equipe. 6 May 2020.
  65. "Résultat et résumé : Toulouse - La Rochelle, Vendredi 25 Juin 2021, 20h45, Top 14, Finale". L'Equipe. 25 June 2021.
  66. "Finale du Top 14 de rugby : Montpellier remporte son premier bouclier de Brennus en battant Castres 29-10". France Bleu. 24 June 2022.
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