The local passion surrounding Friday's ever-fiery Basque derby between Bayonne and Biarritz masks deeper concerns.
French clubs Bayonne and Biarritz have opened talks around the possibility of forming a single Basque team for the Heineken Cup.
Bayonne moved well clear of the Top 14 relegation zone on Thursday thanks to a 22-12 win over Castres at Stade Jean Dauger.
Toulouse and Biarritz will turn their attention to domestic action when they go head to head in the Top 14 on Friday.
Castres travel to Bayonne on Thursday looking to bounce back from elimination from Europe and stay in touch with the Top 14 leaders.
Gloucester and Bath cemented their positions at the top of their respective Amlin Challenge Cup Pools with good victories on Saturday....
Bayonne have announced that Neemia Tialata has put pen to paper on a contract while Timoci Matanavou has re-signed with Toulouse.
Thursday sees Mont-de-Marsan host London Irish while the Dragons travel to Bayonne in Round Five of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
Ahead of the final break before the Heineken Cup Pool run-in, Top 14 action continues as Toulon look to keep their lead at the summit....
Clermont closed the gap on Top 14 leaders Toulon on Sunday with a runaway 48-3 win at home over lowly Bayonne.
Bayonne number eight Francois Carillo is a doubt for the remaining Challenge Cup fixtures after suffered a suspected heart attack.
Grenoble compounded Toulouse to back-to-back defeats in the space of seven days after they beat the French giants 15-6 on Saturday
The Top 14 returns this week, with big games pitting Stade Français against Biarritz and also Perpignan facing an in-form Montpellier....
Toulon cemented their place at the top of the Top 14 standings thanks to a 39-3 win over Grenoble on Saturday.
Following a three-week break due to recent Tests, Top 14 rugby returns this week with Toulouse v Clermont the stand-out fixture.
Mont-de-Marsan caused the biggest upset of the Top 14 season by beating Racing Metro in Paris while Stade Français downed Agen.
Toulon visit Clermont in a top-of-the-table clash on a weekend which sees many teams in the Top 14 shorn of their internationals.