Heineken European Cup
As well as the Celtic League & English Premiership the other European competitions which supply teams into the Heineken Cup and European Challenge Cup competitions are the French professional League "The Top 14" and Italian Premier League.
The Italian competition is the Super 10(Italian Premier League) which as the name implies comprises the top 10 clubs in Italy, this is closed league without relegation and promotion.
French Top 14
The French national league system; Ligue Nationale de Rugby has promotion and relegation between the Top 14 and the next level down, the Rugby Pro D2. Currently there are 14 teams in the competition hence the name.
The Top 14 was founded in 1892 and as with the British game the sides are now professional but unlike England the French clubs are able to spend vast sums on players. This means the top clubs are able to have large squads of predominantly international standard players. The Super 10 which was founded in 1929 on the other hand struggles to compete on the European stage and although there is more money in the Italian game now, the top players still tend to travel away, with many playing for the top French clubs.
The Top 14 probably provides the most varied selection of shirts colours and styles with Stade Francais undoubtedly the most surprising and colourful. But almost all provide shirts which are popular casual wear.
For more information visit: Ligue Nationale de Rugby Website