Two hours later the Emirates Lions will be running out for their second tour match in the UK, against Cardiff in the Welsh capital (20h35), with the Joburg team eager to add a second overseas scalp on their away leg after they beat the Ospreys last weekend.

The other two SA teams in the competition, the defending champion DHL Stormers and the Cell C Sharks, are both in action on Saturday.

In the early afternoon fixture starting at 14h00, the DHL Stormers will open a busy fixture list when they welcome Edinburgh to the DHL Stadium in Cape Town for the first game of the new season at their home stadium after they opened the season last week with a 38-15 triumph over Irish side Connacht in Stellenbosch.

The Cell C Shark round off the third-round action when they face the Dragons from 20h35 at Rodney Park in Newport. All the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

In Pretoria the Vodacom Bulls will be aiming to make it three wins on the bounce on Friday evening against Connacht. Marcell Coetzee’s side are sitting in third spot on the log as a result of two previous wins, but Connacht will eye an improved performance from their Stellenbosch display.

Last season, the Vodacom Bulls faced the men from Galway early in their campaign and were given a 34-7 hiding in Ireland, but the men from Pretoria – who welcome back an all-Springbok back trio of Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie and Sbu Nkosi this weekend – bounced back later in the season to make it all the way to the Grand Final.

The Emirates Lions started their tour with a bang when they scored a late try to clinch a thrilling 28-27 victory over the Ospreys, and it is therefore no surprise that the Highvelders have decided to make only minor tweaks to their match squad in a bid to carry momentum over into their clash with Cardiff.

They are placed ninth at the moment, with Cardiff one position below the Gautengers, and judging by log positions these two teams should produce a closely fought battle, while the visitors will hope for another composed performance from their halfbacks, Sanele Nohamba and Gianni Lombard.

Canan Moodie is back in the Vodacom Bulls' starting team this weekend.

Canan Moodie is back in the Vodacom Bulls' starting team this weekend.

Meanwhile, the DHL Stormers suffered a setback with the news that Seabelo Senatla will be side-lined for up to six months following surgery to repair pectoral damage sustained in last weekend's win over Connacht. The good news is the title holders should be bolstered by the availability of some of their returning Springboks.

The Capetonians produced some sparkling tries a week ago against Connacht but they now face an Edinburgh combination eager to make up for the disappointment of losing by a couple of points in Pretoria.

The late-evening Newport fixture between the Dragons and Cell C Sharks will wrap up the weekend's fixtures. Last week, the Dragons caused a mighty upset when they ended a long win drought at their home ground of Rodney Parade with a shock 23-17 win over Irish giants Munster.

The KwaZulu-Natalians started brightly against Zebre Parma in their second-round match, but had to fight off a furious fightback from the Italian side to eventually win that game 42-37. Thomas du Toit's team know they will have to show better concentration and defensive resolve if they want to slay the 11th-placed Dragons in Newport, where the kick-off is set for 20h35.

Match information:

Vodacom Bulls vs Connacht
Date: Friday, 30 September
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
SA Time: 18h30
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
TV: SuperSport

Cardiff vs Emirates Lions
Date: Friday, 30 September
Venue: Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff
SA Time: 20h35
Referee: Sam Grove-White (Scotland)
TV: SuperSport

DHL Stormers vs Edinburgh
Date: Saturday, 1 October
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SA Time: 14h00
Referee: Frank Murphy (Ireland)
TV: SuperSport

Dragons vs Cell C Sharks
Date: Saturday, 1 October
Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport
SA Time: 20h35
Referee: Ben Blain (Scotland)
TV: SuperSport

Other Vodacom United Rugby Championship fixtures – Round 3 (SA times):

Friday, 30 September
20h30: Ulster vs Leinster (Kingspan Stadium, Belfast)

Saturday, 1 October
16h05: Ospreys vs Glasgow Warriors (Swansea.Com Stadium, Cardiff)
18h05: Munster vs Zebre Parma (Musgrave Park, Cork)
18h15: Benetton vs Scarlets (Stadio Monigo, Treviso)