Bourgarit double sends La Rochelle back top

Paris (AFP) –


France hooker Pierre Bourgarit scored twice to send La Rochelle back to the Top 14 summit with Friday's 40-3 home win over Bayonne.

Bourgarit, who is in France's Six Nations squad, joined Toulouse winger Matthis Lebel on eight tries for the season as his side returned above the record 20-time champions.

Alldritt was named in the hosts' starting lineup despite being ruled out of les Bleus' squad which joins up in Nice next week.

The No. 8 will have examinations on a knee problem on Monday and will miss next week's camp on the Mediterranean coast but could return for the tournament opener on February 6 at Italy.

The Basque visitors made six changes from last Sunday's one-point loss to Pau as they eyed a first win at Stade Marcel-Deflandre since 2011.

Scrum-half Thomas Berjon and Alldritt also scored as ex-New Zealand Maori fly-half Ihaia West kicked eight points.

They were also handed a penalty try after the Basque side collapsed a rolling maul during the second half in torrential rain on the west coast.

On Saturday, Toulouse welcome South Africa's Rugby World Cup winner Cheslin Kolbe back for the trip to bottom side Agen.

Kolbe last played in December 11's win at Ulster after suffering a finger injury.

Elsewhere, Scotland fly-half Finn Russell makes his 50th Racing 92 appearance as they host Bordeaux-Begles.

Former England U20s winger Gabriel Ibitoye makes his debut for struggling Montpellier as they welcome Lyon.

On Sunday Eben Etzebeth's Toulon entertain Stade Francais and Brive head to Pau.