FORMER MUNSTER BACK rows James Coughlan and Sean Dougall both started as Pau notched their first win of the new Top 14 season against Montpellier yesterday.

Fellow Irishman Paddy Butler was used off the bench as Simon Mannix’s men racked up a 26-16 victory over Jake White’s Montpellier at Stade du Hameau.

Source: Section Paloise Béarn Pyrénées/YouTube

Pau had opened the season with a 34-18 defeat away to defending champions Stade Français last weekend, with all three Irish players involved, but the return to home soil yesterday brought a positive result.

The ambitious southwestern club will look forward to welcoming All Blacks Colin Slade and Conrad Smith to the Top 14 after the World Cup, while Coughlan, Dougall and Butler will continue to have an influence under Mannix.

Coughlan was sin binned just before half time in the win over Montpellier after tackling from an offside position as the visitors quick-tapped a penalty.

Scotland international Euan Murray was in the Pau team at tighthead, while the likes of 36-year-old Damien Traille, 34-year-old lock Julien Pierre and the wonderful 36-year-old back row Jean Bouilhou added their experience.

In the beaten Montpellier team was Australian outside centre Andrew Smith, who joined the club on a short-term deal after leaving Munster at the end of last season.

Eamonn Sheridan scored his first try for Oyonnax. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Oyonnax enjoyed an impressive bonus-point 37-19 win over Bordeaux on Saturday evening, with Irish inside centre Eamonn Sheridan scoring his first Top 14 try on what was just his second start for the club.

The 26-year-old, formerly of Leinster, joined Oyonnax from London Irish in the off season and will now look to build on his excellent start to life in France. With Oyonnax involved in the Champions Cup this season, Sheridan will also have chances to impress against Ulster, Saracens and Toulouse in Pool 1.

Elsewhere, Dave Ryan made his second start at tighthead prop for Agen as they suffered a 20-9 defeat at home to Toulouse.

The 29-year-old Cork man joined Agen from Ulster during the summer. Ryan initially graduated into the professional game with Munster before making a move to Italy, where he played with Lazio and Pro12 outfit Zebre.

The Dolphin clubman has made a positive impression at Agen, but the club has started their Top 14 season with two defeats and will hope for an upswing in form in the coming weeks.

Dave Ryan is now a Top 14 starter. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

On Friday night, Irish scrum-half James Hart started as Grenoble went down 25-6 to Clermont at Stade Marcel-Michelin.

Thomas Domingo, Fritz Lee and highly-promising second row Paul Jedrasiak all scored tries for the home team, while Hart’s two penalties were the only response Bernard Jackman‘s Grenoble had.

Chris Farrell and Denis Coulson both appeared off the bench for FCG, the 21-year-old loosehead prop taking his number of Top 14 appearances to four.

Racing 92, where Ronan O’Gara is part of the coaching team, made it two wins from two to start the season with a 20-19 victory at home to La Rochelle on Saturday.

In the Pro D2, a difficult start to the season for Eddie O’Sullivan‘s Biarritz continued as they were beaten 20-9 by Montauban a week after losing at home to Aurillac. The former Ireland coach will be expecting a better outcome next weekend against Albi.

Jeremy Davidson (left) has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season, while Eddie O’Sullivan’s Biarritz have lost twice.

There was no room in the matchday squad for young Irish hooker Dylan Donnellan against Montauban, but the former Ireland U20 international did play off the bench last weekend in the loss to Aurillac.

Click Here: mens nrl jerseys

Donnellan, an ex-Clongowes man, played the final 10 minutes of that fixture in what was his second Pro D2 appearance since he joined Biarritz last season.

Jeremy Davidson‘s Aurillac secured their second win in two games with a bonus-point 40-10 win over Colomiers yesterday, as Conor Gaston once again started out on the wing. The Ex-Ulster and London Irish man is an important part of Davidson’s impressive team.

Schmidt: Dave Kearney looked dangerous with the ball the whole timeIreland’s World Cup pool rivals Italy hit for 6 by Scotland