Toulouse, semi-finalists in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup, and ASM Clermont Auvergne, who are back in Europe’s elite club competition after winning the Challenge Cup in May, provide almost half the players to France’s 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.

Toulouse have eight players in Jacques Brunel’s 31-man party for Japan and Clermont seven, with the thrilling brand of rugby that also saw both clubs qualify for the TOP 14 final reflected in Brunel’s selection of six Toulouse players and four from Clermont among his 14 backs.

The French champions boast Antoine Dupont, Romain Ntamack, Sofiane Guitoune, Yoann Huget, Maxime Médard and Thomas Ramos in the 31-man party, while Clermont claim Camille Lopez, Wesley Fofana, Alivereti Raka and Damian Penaud.

Brunel’s 17 forwards are from nine clubs, including Racing 92, Montpellier, Lyon and La Rochelle, as well as the TOP 14 finalists.

Captain of the squad is experienced hooker Guilhem Guirado, who is one of three Montpellier players in the squad following his summer move. The others are back-row duo Louis Picamoles and Yacouba Camara, with the 33-year-old Picamoles preferred to Toulouse’s François Cros.

Racing have five players in the 31, including scrum-half Maxime Machenaud and wing or centre Virimi Vakatawa, while Lyon and La Rochelle have one apiece in prop Demba Bamba and back-row forward Gregory Alldritt respectively.

Click HERE to see the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup fixtures.