Toulouse's Thierry Dusautoir and William Servat show off the Bouclier de Brennus, Capitole Square, Toulouse, France, June 10, 2012 © Getty Images
The French Top 14, also known as the Orange Top14 for sponsorship reasons, is an annual competition featuring France's leading clubs.
The teams play each other on a home and away basis during the regular season. For the 2009-10 season the play-offs have been expanded to incorporate the top six teams at the end of the regular season.
In the first round of play-offs the top two sides will receive a bye, allowing the remaining four teams to play each other for a place in the semi-finals. Third will play sixth and fourth will play fifth, the winners progressing to face the remaining two sides in the last four. The semi-finals are staged at neutral venues with the final traditionally played at the Stade de France in Paris.
The competition began in 1892 and has evolved into its current format with relegation to and promotion from the second-tier ProD2 division.