London Irish lock Rob Simmons is delighted that the Heineken Champions Cup is welcoming South African sides this year – but is under no illusions how difficult it’s going to be for the Gallagher Premiership club at DHL Stormers in Round 2.

“That’s tough,” he said of Saturday’s fixture. “South Africa have entered the competition this year, so that poses a whole different logistical challenge for clubs, because traditionally an English club going to France is three to five days, but going down there (South Africa) for a week is a whole different culture.

“To be able to live in that culture for a week and go out at the weekend and perform has its challenges, and a lot of clubs haven’t done that before, so it will be interesting.”

DHL Stormers are holders of the United Rugby Championship and the Australian believes that URC clubs will have an advantage over English and French sides when they play in South Africa, as they will have already experienced the trip there.

“The more times you do that tour, you learn a lot from it,” he added. “You learn what’s important and how to do it. The first time it can be a challenge if you handle it the wrong way, so I guess it’s an advantage for them, as they’ve done it once or twice before.”