Ronan O'Gara pictured at last week's Champions Cup final. Alamy Stock Photo

Lyon qualify for Top 14 play-offs, no Champions Cup hangover for O'Gara's La Rochelle

Leaders Toulouse, who crushed relegated Brive 54-10, were already through to the semi-finals.

LYON BEAT Bayonne 53-19 to qualify for the Top 14 play-offs after Sunday’s final round of matches in the regular season.

Leaders Toulouse, who crushed relegated Brive 54-10, were already through to the semi-finals, along with second-placed La Rochelle who edged Stade Francais 14-10 at home.

Stade Francais will host Racing 92 with Lyon welcoming Bordeaux-Begles in the play-offs.

At the bottom of the table, Pau assured their survival with a 35-10 win at home against defending champions Montpellier, who end the campaign in 11th place.

Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle fielded a heavily rotated side a week after their thrilling Champions Cup victory over Leinster in Dublin, but it was still enough to get past Stade Francais.

Despite the defeat, Gonzalo Quesada’s Stade Francais will host their neighbours next Saturday in a derby that promises to be heated.

Racing 92 fell 32-25 at Clermont despite the introduction of stars Finn Russell and Gael Fickou for the final 20 minutes.

Lyon booked their ticket to the play-offs thanks to a seven-try victory against Bayonne, who had also been hoping to qualify.

Toulon’s 35-19 victory against Bordeaux-Begles at the Mayol stadium was not enough as they finished outside the top six, but thanks to their Challenge Cup title they qualified for next season’s Champions Cup.

Veteran Toulon star Sergio Parisse produced an excellent performance for his final game and received a standing ovation as he left the pitch.

Perpignan lost 26-16 at Castres, and face a play-off for survival against Grenoble.

– © AFP 2023

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