Clermont vs Toulouse is the pick of the opening round of fixtures in the 2020/21 Top 14 season as the French clubs aim to quickly click back into gear for the rearranged 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup quarter-finals. 

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With Clermont due to host Racing and Toulouse set to take on Ulster on the weekend of September 19 in the delayed last-eight of Europe’s premier cup competition, French officials have done what they could to help their teams be ready by unveiling a juicy start to the Top 14 season. 

Rather than try and play the suspended 2019/20 season to some sort of conclusion, a decision was taken to cancel the entire French season and instead begin the new 2020/21 campaign on the first weekend of September. 

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This decision has now left French fans salivating over some intriguing opening round fixtures. Aside from the promise of a repeat of the 2019 final where Toulouse defeated Clermont to lift the Brennus, Lyon vs Racing 92, La Rochelle vs Toulon, Brive vs Bayonne, Montpellier vs Pau, Bordeaux vs Stade and Agen vs Castres are also on the cards. 

The Stade-Clermont game is scheduled for September 5, with the league getting underway the previous night in Bordeaux with Gonzalo Quesada’s Stade Francais visiting.  

The second round of league fixtures before the break to accommodate the Champions and Challenge Cup quarter and semi-finals will feature Toulon vs Lyon, Bayonne vs Clermont, Bordeaux vs Brive, Castres vs Paris, Pau vs Agen, Racing 92 vs Montpellier and Toulouse vs La Rochelle.

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Aside from France having three teams left in the Champions Cup, Toulouse, Clermont and Racing, Bordeaux (home vs Edinburgh), Toulon (home vs Scarlets) and Castres (away vs Leicester) all have Challenge Cup quarter-finals to prepare for in a European season restart where the finals scheduled for Marseille will be moved to venues still to be confirmed. 

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