Defending champions, the DHL Stormers will be eager to make a statement against unbeaten Leinster in Dublin when the Vodacom United Rugby Championship resumes this week.
The action in the URC returns this weekend with all four SA teams on tour – the Stormers take on Leinster at RDS Arena (9:35pm) on Friday, before Saturday’s schedule which has the Lions facing Benetton in Treviso (3pm), the Sharks in Llanelli to play the Scarlets (7pm), and the Bulls square up against Ulster in a Belfast blockbuster (9:35pm).
Prior to a two-week hiatus in the competition, the Stormers clinched the SA Shield with the victory against the Sharks in Cape Town in round 15, while the Lions kept their URC playoff hopes alive with a win over the Vodacom Bulls, but in both instances the victorious teams had to withstand serious comebacks from their opponents.
With three rounds to go, the Stormers are in second place on the overall log with 59 points, sandwiched between leaders Leinster on 71 and Ulster in third on 54.
Glasgow Warriors are in fourth on 49, Munster in fifth (47), the Bulls in sixth courtesy of their two bonus points in Pretoria (43), the Sharks in seventh (41) and Connacht complete the top-eight on 39 points, with the Lions six points adrift in 11th spot on the log.