French Top 14 Wrap: Chris Ashton scores twice as Toulon thrash Pau

Toulon finished off the opening round of the new Top 14 season by thumping Pau 41-14 as former England international Chris Ashton stole the show.

Ashton, 30, made a promising debut since his summer move from Saracens with two tries and a try-saving tackle to help Toulon to an emphatic victory.

On Saturday, Bordeaux Begles produced a thrilling 32-25 victory over last season's champions Clermont Auvergne.

Fa'asiu Fuatai got the hosts off to the perfect start with a try on six minutes, before Peceli Yato and Remy Grosso combined for two tries in two minutes as the visitors took the lead.

However, Bordeaux hit back in clinical fashion, as Simon Hickey scored five penalties to secure the win.

Elsewhere, Racing 92 needed two tries in the final 11 minutes to secure a 25-21 win over Castres.

Armand Battle grabbed a brace of tries in the first half hour to help give the visitors an 18-3 lead after 32 minutes. Hosts Racing hit back almost immediately through a AnthonyTuitavake try but found themselves eight points adrift before scores from Juan Imhoff and Louis Dupichot gave them a dramatic victory.

Elsewhere, Montpellier ran in seven tries as they opened their campaign with a 48-19 win over Agen. Montpellier, heavily fancied to do well this season, struck after just 10 minutes through Nemani Nadolo and while their visitors scored three tries of their own, a win for the hosts -- who led 24-7 at half time -- never looked in doubt.

Last season's beaten semifinalists, La Rochelle, got off to a winning start with a 19-10 victory at Brive. Arthur Retiere scored a try in each half, while Alexis Bales added a third, as the side that finished the regular season top of the pack last term led from start to finish at Stade Amedee-Domenech.

Earlier, Ben Botica scored 18 points as Oyonnax started their season with a 23-23 draw against Toulouse at Stade Charles Mathon. Botica scored his side's second try, and added two conversions and three penalties for his final haul.

Toulouse were grateful for Cheslin Kolbe's 74th-minute try, which allowed Thomas Ramos to level the scores from the tee.

Stade Francais blew an early 13-point lead as they were beaten 25-16 by Lyon at home.

Waisea Nayacalevu's 13th-minute try gave Stade the perfect start, but they were unable to hold on as Lyon replied with scores from Thibault Regard, Alexis Palisson and Albertus Buckle.