French rugby has been left stunned after a shocking brawl erupted during a match that saw seven people sent off.

The Bigourdan derby match between Tarbes and Lannemezan in France's Federale 1 league descended into farce as players exchanged wild punches, RugbyPass report.

The game was halted for seven minutes shortly after kicking off when players and management becoming embroiled in the violence.

Both coaches were sent off, along with five players before the match resumed with 13 versus 12. It eventually finished with 12 versus 11 after two more red cards were shown later in proceedings.

Tarbes’ South African hooker Ulrich Pretorius told ladepeche.fr: "It must be said it is dangerous for everyone, things can turn very quickly."

Lannemezan’s Christophe Dulong added: “It is a fight which was much too far.”

According to reports, the presidents of the two clubs will now hold a joint press conference to apologise after the president of the Ligue Occitanie de Rugby, the region where the two teams play, said their competition was now “the laughing stock of rugby”.

"I have never seen anything like it in my life," Alain Doucet said, adding: “I am deeply disappointed and hurt by what happened. This game turned into a nightmare."

The French media have branded the violence as 'a sad day for French rugby', while French Federation president Bernard Laporte is said to have demanded an explanation after the video footage emerged.

For the record, the game finished 36-3 to Tarbes.