Paris (AFP)

Bayonne, after its defeat against Stade Français (12-9) at home, finished the regular season in the Top 14 penultimate place, at the end of the 26th day on Saturday, and will play a play-off at Biarritz next Saturday to ensure its maintenance.

Condemned to relegation to Pro D2 since mid-April, the red lantern Agen ends the 2020-2021 fiscal year with a sad and historic record of 26 defeats in as many matches, after the setback suffered in Lyon (52-7).

Bayonne was in competition with Pau to avoid the penultimate place.

But the Bayonnais, who were yet four points ahead before this day, pocketed only the defensive bonus point against Stade Français.

And Pau dominated Montpellier (41-25) with the offensive bonus in the key.

The two teams finish with the same number of points (46) but Pau passes in front of Bayonne thanks to its two successes against the Basque team.

To avoid going down to the second division, the Bayonnais will have to win a Basque derby on Saturday June 12 in Biarritz, beaten earlier (33-14) in the Pro D2 final by Perpignan.

Agen had known his fate for several weeks but probably did not expect to end with such a record, never seen in Top 14 and extremely rare in the history of French team sports.

The handball club of Billère also finished with twenty-six defeats in twenty-six games during the 2012-2013 season of the first division.

The team based in the suburbs of Pau nevertheless discovered the elite while Agen remains a stronghold of hexagonal rugby with its eight titles of champion of France, the last acquired in 1988.

But after a defensive bonus point acquired against Castres in September (2 over the entire season) for its first game of the season, the SUA, the lowest budget of the elite, quickly lost ground.

The defeat suffered on the land of Bordeaux-Bègles at the end of October (71-5), the heaviest in the history of the club in the league, had thus precipitated the departure of coach Christophe Laussucq.

His successor Régis Sonnes, who started his coaching career at the SUA (2005-2006) before joining, among others, the management of Bordeaux-Bègles and Stade Toulouse, has not succeeded in raising the bar, would not be - what by guiding the team to a draw.

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