Heineken Cup champions Toulouse will kick off their season away to Bayonne on Saturday. French champions Biarritz Olympique will face new boys RC Toulon, on Friday evening, who earned promotion to the Top 14 last season. Beaten Heineken Cup finalists Stade Francais Paris are away to Narbonne on Saturday while Bourgoin travel to Brive. Clermont Auvergne will face last season's European Challenge Cup finalists Pau and 2003 Heineken Cup finalists Perpignan will play host to Agen, both on Saturday.
French sides dominated the knock-out stages of last season's Heineken Cup with three French sides making it to the semi-finals and Toulouse and Stade Francais emerging to compete for the coveted European Champions title at Murrayfield. Toulouse's third Heineken Cup final win made it four titles for french sides but France is only second on the Roll of Honour, which is topped by England with five titles.