French Top 14
The Top 14 (French pronunciation: ) is a professional rugby union club competition that is played in France created in 1892. The Top 14 is at the top of the national league system operated by the French National Rugby League, also known by its French initialism of LNR. There is promotion and relegation between the Top 14 and the next level down, the Rugby Pro D2. The fourteen best rugby teams in France participate in the competition, hence the name Top 14. The competition was previously known as the Top 16. The league is one of the three major professional leagues in Europe (along with the English Premiership and the Pro14, which brings together top clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy and South Africa), the most successful European teams from which go forward to compete in the European Rugby Champions Cup, the pan-European championship which replaced the Heineken Cup after the 2013–14 season. The first ever final took place in 1892, between two Paris-based sides, Stade Français and Racing Club de France, which were the only teams playing the competition that year, with the latter becoming the inaugural champions. The competition has been held on an annual basis since, except from 1915 to 1919—because of World War I—and from 1940 to 1942—because of World War II. Toulouse is the most successful club in the competition with 20 titles.