The DHL Stormers will host the Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town on Saturday, 23 December, with the Hollywoodbets Sharks travelling to Cape Town a week later on, Saturday, 30 September.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks and Emirates Lions, meanwhile, will kick off 2024 with a bang in Durban on Saturday, 6 January.

These matches follow two weekends of European rugby where the four Vodacom URC franchises and the Toyota Cheetahs proved their quality in the Investec Challenge Cup and EPCR Challenge Cup.

The DHL Stormers will enter both their matches against Vodacom Bulls and Hollywoodbets Sharks well aware of the importance making the most of their home ground advantage, especially after a disappointing UK tour earlier in the campaign where they suffered defeats in all four of their matches before bouncing back with a vital victory against Zebre Parma in Stellenbosch early in December.

That result breathed a new life into their Vodacom URC campaign, pushing them into 10th place on the log – only one point behind the ninth placed Emirates Lions.

After winning the inaugural competition in 2021 and hosting the final last season, the Capetonians will be mindful of the fact a resurgence in the second half of the tournament could see them participate in the playoffs and give them a chance to have another shot at the title.

They will, however, face tough competition from the in-form Vodacom Bulls, who are currently in third place on the standings after five victories in seven matches, and with the visitors only trailing log leaders, Leinster, by four points, the idea that they could leapfrog to the top of the log if one of the top two sides slip up, will motivate them immensely.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks, meanwhile, will take the field with a sense of desperation to sway their fortunes in the competition, after bagging only one win in their opening seven matches, and with their backs against the wall, they will play with the attitude that they have nothing to lose, but rather everything to gain.

Although they beat Section Paloise in their EPCR Challenge Cup opener, they will be keen to bounce back from defeat against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein last weekend.

The Durbanites will also target their game against the Emirates Lions at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in January as vital to earn a valuable home victory, but with the Johannesburg outfit having proven their competitiveness by securing four bonus points for losing by less than seven points and three points for four or more tries scored so far in the competition, it is expected to be a humdinger of a match.

Match information:

DHL Stormers v Vodacom Bulls
Date: Saturday, 23 December
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SA Time: 19h00
TV: SuperSport

DHL Stormers v Hollywoodbets Sharks
Date: Saturday, 30 December
Venue: DHL Stadium, Cape Town
SA Time: 19h00
TV: SuperSport

Hollywoodbets Sharks v Emirates Lions
Date: Saturday, 6 January 2024
Venue: Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban
SA Time: 17h00
TV: SuperSport