Five players who caught the eye in the opening rounds of the Top 14

Lyon have managed to retain the services of flanker Carl Fearns this summer. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images

France's top flight has returned with a flourish. There was a perfect start for Montpellier with Lyon the only other team to have won both of their games.

But which individuals stood out on the pitch? Here, former Toulon back Tom May talks ESPN through the eye-catchers from the opening two rounds of the Top 14...

Chris Ashton, Toulon:

After a big move, Chris Ashton had the Toulon fans expecting. He's delivering. Against Pau in Toulon's Top 14 opener, he scored a brace of tries at the Stade Mayol but he also made more of an impression with a textbook try saving tackle in the corner.

Toulon headed to Clermont this weekend. They may have lost but again he was on the scoresheet -- getting on the end of some good work from Sebastian Tillous-Borde. A fantastic start to life on the Cote D'Azur for him and he's a firm fan's favourite straight away.

Nick Abendanon, Clermont:

Quite simply, Abendanon has been brilliant since his arrival in France -- not that he wasn't in England, though, to be fair. During Clermont's opening fixture away at Bordeaux, he started a move and nearly finished it off. He was caught by a back rower just short of the line, but the offload will make sure no one remembers that. Incredible. Clermont scored from it.

Against Toulon at Stade Marcel Michelin, he created a score using his boot with a deft grubber for Damian Penaud. Another brilliant start to the season for the fullback.

Carl Fearns. Lyon:

Having decided to stay in France, Carl Fearns has backed up his nomination for 2016/17 Player of the Year with some solid performances for Lyon. He's signed a lengthy contract with them after turning his back on Gloucester and has played the full 80 minutes in both his side's victories.

So much about Lyon that is good centres around Fearns and Pierre Mignoni, and the club will hope to keep him fit throughout the season.

Steffon Armitage, Pau:

There aren't many sides that couldn't do with a Steffon Armitage in the Top 14, and Pau can boast that they have the turnover king with them each week. He had a pretty good game against Toulon in the opening round despite the defeat and made the decision to take a quick penalty which allowed Julien Tomas to score and ensure a defensive bonus point.

He will be key for Pau in turning the ball over and his performances suggest he will be pretty close to the top of the stats again come the end of the season.

Ruan Pienaar, Montpellier:

Having made the move from Ulster, Ruan Pienaar was called into action early in Round 1 from his place among the replacements and played a key role in sending Benjamin Fall over in the corner.

Pienaar subsequently started the Round 2 match against Oyonnax at the Altrad Stadium and was on the scoresheet. He controlled the Montpellier forwards brilliantly [including new signing Picamoles] and fits well with Vern Cotter's intentions to play using the full width of the field. He will be crucial to unleashing what is a frightening back line.