Both Investec Champions Cup teams will be in action on Saturday with the DHL Stormers hosting defending champions Stade Rochelais – who are in the hunt for third successive title – in Cape Town, while the Vodacom Bulls will go up against Lyon in France.

The Emirates Lions, meanwhile, take on the Newcastle Falcons in Johannesburg on Saturday in the EPCR Challenge Cup, while the Toyota Cheetahs welcome the Hollywoodbets Sharks to Bloemfontein on Sunday for a mouth-watering local derby.

The DHL Stormers will have all the motivation they need to bounce back from their disappointing nine-point defeat against the Leicester Tigers last week, which marked their fifth defeat in a row overseas in both their competitions this season and they will want to make the most of the luxury of playing their first match at the DHL Stadium this season.

They will draw comfort from the fact that Stade Rochelais have only won four of their nine matches in the French Top 14 this season and also come off a defeat against Leinster last weekend.

The Capetonians – who will have a group of fresh players, including a number of Springboks, who remained behind in Cape Town last week – will also have the home crowd in their favour as well as the local heat, which is vastly different to the European conditions this time of the year.

Willie le Roux working his magic for the Vodacom Bulls against Saracens last weekend.

Willie le Roux working his magic for the Vodacom Bulls against Saracens last weekend.

The Vodacom Bulls will back themselves for a vital away victory against Lyon at Matmut Stadium de Gerland, especially with the team high on confidence after winning six of their eight matches so far this season.

Lyon, on the other hand, have had a slow start to their Top 14 season, with only three wins in nine matches, but they will be desperate to turn things around after their heart-breaking 36-34 defeat last week against the Bristol Bears in the Investec Champions Cup.

The French outfit, however, will be expecting a thorough test on attack and in the set pieces from the Pretoria side, who have scored an average of 47 points in their four home games so far this season.

In the EPCR Challenge Cup, the Emirates Lions will go in search of their fourth victory in a row when they meet the desperate Newcastle Falcons at Emirates Airline Park.

The visitors have been struggling this season after failing to win one of their eight matches in the Gallagher Premiership and falling five points short of a victory against Montpellier in the EPCR Challenge Cup last weekend.

Jurie Matthee gets tackled by Jasper Wiese last weekend.

Jurie Matthee gets tackled by Jasper Wiese last weekend.

The fact that the Emirates Lions have registered good scores in all their home matches in the Vodacom URC and come off a confidence-boosting away win against Perpignan last week, as well as the altitude factor counting in their favour in Johannesburg this weekend, will boost their confidence.

The battle between the Toyota Cheetahs and Hollywoodbets Sharks in Bloemfontein will also be sure to entertain with both teams entering the match with confidence after good victories in the competition last week.

The Free Staters will be well aware of the fact that the KwaZulu-Natalians may be more match fit as they have been participating in the Vodacom URC, whereas the home side only got their top class season going last weekend, but this could see them take the field with bolstered energy levels.

With both sides priding themselves on their set pieces and solid attack, it is expected to a typical hard-fought derby.

Match information: 

Investec Champions Cup

DHL Stormers v Stade Rochelais
Date: Saturday, 16 December
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SA Time: 15h00
Referee: Christophe Ridley
TV: SuperSport

Lyon v Vodacom Bulls
Date: Saturday, 16 December
Venue: Matmut Stadium de Gerland, Lyon
SA Time: 19h30
Referee: Mike Adamson
TV: SuperSport

EPCR Challenge Cup

Emirates Lions v Newcastle Falcons
Date: Saturday, 16 December
Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
SA Time: 17h15
Referee: Benoit Rousselet
TV: SuperSport

Toyota Cheetahs v Hollywoodbets Sharks
Date: Sunday, 17 December
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
SA Time: 15h00
Referee: Andrea Piardi
TV: SuperSport