Antoine Dupont helped Toulouse stay top of the French Top 14 while Gaël Fickou also impressed as a host of French stars put in influential displays for their club sides over the weekend.
Dupont, the reigning Guinness Six Nations Player of the Championship, crossed for the leaders as they overcame Clermont-Auvergne 46-10, Melvyn Jaminet sealing the victory with his first try for the club following his summer move from Perpignan.
And Fickou made his mark in his first appearance of the season for Racing, scoring in the 26-13 win over Pau which included 16 points from the boot of Scotland fly-half Finn Russell.
Russell’s international teammates Matt Fagerson and Scott Cummings crossed in Glasgow Warriors’ 35-21 win over Bulls in the United Rugby Championship, though Gregor Townsend would not have enjoyed Edinburgh’s clash against Lions quite as much.
The in-form Darcy Graham pulled off a fine finish in Edinburgh’s 22-19 but later came off injured, as did compatriots Hamish Watson and Stuart McInally, to leave Townsend with potential concerns ahead of the upcoming Autumn Nations Series.
Elsewhere in the URC, Wales scrum-half Tomos Williams scored the decisive try in Cardiff’s 16-10 derby victory at Scarlets and Italy’s Edoardo Padovani touched down for Benetton in their 34-14 triumph against Dragons.
Owen Farrell kicked nine points for the London outfit in their 34-14 win at Kingston Park, with Max Malins – who made his England debut in the 2020 Autumn Nations Series – scoring twice.
Also at the double was Jack Nowell, who starred in Exeter Chiefs’ convincing 50-14 win at Bristol Bears – Luke Cowan-Dickie also crossed for the Devonians.
Raffi Quirke impressed on his entrance to the international stage during last year’s Autumn Nations Series, scoring England’s winning try against South Africa, and had a significant impact off the bench to inspire Sale Sharks to victory over champions Leicester Tigers.
The scrum-half made one try for his international teammate Tom Curry and later crossed himself as the visitors overturned a 16-12 half-time deficit with 14 unanswered points in the second 40 minutes.