SOURCE: Eurosport Asia-Pacific Ltd
HONG KONG--(Marketwire - Aug 16, 2012) - The French Top 14 returns this weekend with back-to-back title winners Toulouse firmly established as the team to beat in 2012/13.
The reigning champions will kick-off their campaign with a re-match of last season's semi-final against Castres, who enjoyed their first semi-finals appearance in 11 years, by crushing 2010/11 grand final runner-up Montpellier in the quarter-finals 31-15.
Despite falling short at final's time, Montpellier remains close to the heart of Vietnamese fans, with French national fly-half François Trinh-Duc having been a key player to the side since 2004.
Holding over 100 caps with the club, Trinh-Duc is also-noted as being one of the first ever rugby players of Vietnamese origin to play for the French national side.
With mixed fortunes the past year (Montpellier sliding from 2nd to 5th on the Top 14 table and France enduring a heartbreaking loss to New Zealand in the 2011 Rugby World Cup) Trinh-Duc will attempt to reverse his club's recent results with their upcoming match against Biarritz on Sunday 9 September at 2.15pm. Additional Top 14 match-ups commence this weekend.
The French Top 14 is the northern hemisphere's premier domestic rugby competition. LIVE 2012/13 action kicks off on Eurosport this weekend. Bayonne host Clermont and Toulon will look to put the pain of last season's 18-12 grand final defeat behind them when they clash with Perpignan.
The visitor side will be able to call on a mighty haul of overseas stars, with champion playmakers Australian Matt Giteau and former England captain Jonny Wilkinson joined at Toulon by England internationals Nick Kennedy and Delon Armitage.
Toulon v Perpignan starts LIVE on Eurosport from 2.45am on Sunday 19 August and Bayonne v Clermont from 2.30pm on Saturday 18 August.
The Top 14 French Rugby season goes right through the winter and concludes in June 2013 and serves as a key form guide to the annual European club trophy, the Heineken Cup.
Eurosport will televise two LIVE games each week plus a weekly half-an-hour wrap up featuring all the latest news, highlights and interviews. It is also available on Eurosport HD.
Eurosport is available on K+ (Channel 46).
*Schedules as of 16 August 2012 and subject to change