Old rivals Stade Francais will tackle Toulouse in a blockbuster French Top 14 semi-final next Sunday while free-scoring Clermont will face Perpignan.
News 24 reports that on the last day of the regulation season in France, Montauban celebrated qualifying for the European Cup for the first time in their history while veteran flank Serge Betsen’s final match for Biarritz ended in defeat.
Stade Francais retained their third place in the table despite a slim defeat to Perpignan and will face Toulouse next Sunday in Bordeaux.
The Paris side, champions five times in the last 10 years (1998, 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2007), will be taking part in their eighth semi-final of the last decade.
Toulouse finished their campaign in second spot with a 35-28 win over Bayonne and will be looking for revenge over Stade next week.
When the two sides met in the 2005 semi-final in Bordeaux, Stade won and deprived Toulouse of a famous French League-European Cup double.
Table toppers Clermont will face fourth-placed Perpignan at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille fresh from rounding off their campaign with a 95-5 rout of relegated Dax, the biggest win of the season in the championship.
Clermont were beaten in the 2007 final by Stade Francais.
Perpignan are in the semi-finals for the first time since 2006 and finished their league programme with a morale-boosting 23-19 win over Stade on Saturday.
Montauban finished in seventh with a 24-17 over Albi and grabbed the last European Cup place.
Biarritz lost 34-30 to Castres at home in Betsen’s last match for the French side.
Betsen, who retired from international rugby in January after winning 63 caps, will play for English side Wasps next season after signing a two-year deal.
Clermont ran in 14 tries in their demolition of Dax with Fiji’s Napoleoni Vonowale Nalaga and French international Aurelien Rougerie both scoring hat-tricks.
Springbok captain John Smit will return to Clermont for their semi-final, thus missing the Boks’ Test against Italy at Newlands. Similarly fullback Percy Montgomery will be available for selection for Perpignan.Tweet