Kaino signs off in style

The two-time Rugby World Cup winner has come off the bench for the last half an hour as Toulouse have beaten La Rochelle 18-8 in the final at the Stade de France.

Kaino, 38, also helped Toulouse beat the same opposition in the European Champions Cup final last month.

First-five Thomas Ramos kicked 15 of their points in the Top 14 decider l in place of the injured Romain Ntamack, while Springboks winger Cheslin Kolbe struck a stunning 50-metre drop goal.

Jerome Kaino's Toulouse to face former Hurricanes wing Ben Lam in French rugby semis

Lam started on the left wing in Bordeaux-Bègles’ 25-16 quarterfinals victory over Clermont on Sunday (Monday NZ time), with Tameifuna adding his burly frame from the bench.

They will visit round-robin winners Toulouse on Sunday (Monday NZ time), having qualified for the semifinals for the first time since the club was formed in 2006 after the merger of two long-standing Bordeaux clubs.

No side from Bordeaux have won a French championship since Bègles triumphed in 1991, captained by current French Rugby Federation president and former national team coach Bernard Laporte.

Toulouse topple leaders Montpellier

Lyon consigned Toulouse to a home defeat last weekend, but Ugo Mola's side put that behind them to move just five points behind Montpellier.

There was nothing to choose between the two title contenders in the first half at Stade Ernest Wallon, where Nemani Nadolo barged his way over from close range before Yoann Maestri's converted try made it 7-7 at the break.

Francois Cros went over from the back of a scrum as Montpellier failed to withstand the pressure and a Thomas Ramos penalty gave the home side an eight-point advantage.

Challenge Cup: Sale & Toulouse draw

The Australian lined up at fly-half for the home side at AJ Bell Stadium, but could not quite inspire his team to victory in the Pool 2 meeting.

Toulouse were first on the board through Semi Kunatani, and the lead stood at 14-3 when Sebastien Bezy went over under the posts before converting his own score.

Sale pulled themselves back into contention just before half-time thanks to Denny Solomona's try and they were ahead for the first time as Bryn Evans charged down a kick and touched down 10 minutes into the second period.