LegendrayPlays is highlighting the "Fan Days" to be held on the weekend of 18 November, with a number of derbies on the programme. Prestigious fixtures such as the Paris derby between Stade Français and Racing, the South-West derbies with a mouth-watering La Rochelle-Bordeaux and Castres-Toulouse. 6 derbies in all, yes 6 derbies, Clermont-Toulon not being considered as such.
So let's take a look back at the best moments of these derbies, which have always attracted us, as much for the pride of defending the colours of your home town as for the pride of winning against your worst enemy, your neighbour.
Stade Français - Racing, a vital derby
The derby that has all rugby fans on the edge of their seats is the one involving the Parisians. What else but this legendary clash between these two big clubs. Against Racing in the 2018-19 season, Gaël Fickou used all his speed to score the first try of the match in the corner. At the time, Fickou was a Parisian, but now he plays for Racing - what a turnaround! What better way to make this derby electric? And you, Parisian or Racingman?
Bayonne-Pau, 64 in the spotlight
The derby of 64, the derby of celebration, the derby of song, the derby of enthusiasm with that famous 'Peña Baiona'. Facing the Palaise section in the 2005-06 edition, Richard Dourthe, the man with 31 caps for the blue jersey, showed us all his technique and skill in this penalty. Will you be singing Peña Baiona during this match?
Perpignan-Montpellier, the Mediterranean duel
The duel of the southerners, the duel of the fine weather. Catalans and Montpellier will meet this weekend, November 18, to defend their colours. François Trinh-Duc, a former Montpellier player who has worn the blue jersey 66 times, slammed home a marvellous drop-kick against Perpignan in the 2013-2014 season. A footwork worthy of the greatest. Are you more into beach or rugby?
Castres-Toulouse, the clash of the Occitanie region
It's THE biggest derby on paper! Castres, French champions in 2013 and 2018 and finalists in 2021-2022, face Toulouse, champions in 2019, 2021 and 2023. A duel with the allure of the finals at Pierre Fabre. Romain Ntamack, 24 years old and already 36 caps for the French team, showed us all his running qualities to score a wonderful try in the TOP 14 semi-final. So, Team Tarn or Team Haute-Garonne?
La Rochelle-Bordeaux, the Atlantic encounter
Ah, the Atlantic coast with its stormy seas, just like this derby. It's a match we're all looking forward to at Marcel Deflandre, which will obviously be sold out as always! It's also a match with the feel of the final stages, like last year's semi-final. We're expecting a high-voltage match. Ask Ihaia West when he had to kick the winning penalty in Bordeaux, 2 years ago, if he didn't feel the pressure? So, Yellow and Black or Red and White?
Oyonnax-Lyon, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes classic
The least exciting derby on paper, or at least on the surface, because in the stands it's no laughing matter! Lyon fans are ready to take on their neighbours in this match-up on day 7 of the Top 14. The two teams have played more times in Pro D2 than in Top 14! Benjamin Urdapilleta, the driving force behind Oyonnax's revival, concludes a sumptuous move by his team in the 2014-2015 edition. Which team do you prefer?
With all these superb derbies, which one(s) will you be watching?