In a landmark expansion, next season’s Heineken Champions Cup will include three South African clubs who have qualified through the United Rugby Championship (URC). We continue an overview of these teams with a look at Cape Town-based Stormers.

Stadium

Stormers’ 62,000-capacity DHL Stadium was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and sits in Green Point, between Signal Hill and the Atlantic Ocean, close to Cape Town city centre.

Major honours

Stormers claimed the inaugural URC title in 2021/22, beating fellow South African outfit Bulls in the final.

Stormers never lifted a Super Rugby title between 1996 and 2021, making it to the final in 2010 and reaching the play-offs in 1999, 2004 and 2010.

Western Province, the Currie Cup side linked to Stormers, have enjoyed immense success in the domestic competition, winning on 34 occasions, with four of those successes shared.

Head coach

John Dobson has led Stormers since 2019, having been involved with Western Province for almost a decade.

Dobson turned out for Western Province as a hooker and had spells with amateur sides in his native South Africa, as well as in Italy and Portugal.

Key players

Props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe are both vastly experienced South African internationals, as is scrum-half Herschel Jantjies, with the trio part of their nation’s World Cup-winning squad in 2019.

Fly-half Manie Libbok was the leading points scorer in the URC last season with 163, while wings Leolin Zas (11) and Seabelo Senatla (9) were joint-top and joint-third leading try-scorers respectively.

Back-row forward Evan Roos was by far and away the most effective player when it came to carries (245), successful carries (149) and defenders beaten (56), with flanker Dean Fourie registering the most turnovers (26).

Last season

Stormers were crowned as champions of the inaugural URC after defeating fellow South African team Bulls 18-13 at DHL Stadium.

After finishing second in the table, eight points adrift of Leinster Rugby, Stormers defeated Edinburgh Rugby (28-17) and then Ulster Rugby (17-15) to reach the showpiece game.