Last season's Champions Cup finalists Leinster and La Rochelle to clash againJul 13 | 1 min read
The biggest club competition in world rugby resumed this weekend after a month-long hiatus, with Leicester Tigers becoming the first team to secure their place in this season's Heineken Champions Cup knockout phase after a memorable 44-29 win at Clermont on Friday night, with Toulouse, Leinster, Cell C Sharks, Saracens and defending champions La Rochelle duly following suit with victories against Sale Sharks, Gloucester, Bordeaux Begles, Lyon and Ulster respectively on Saturday.
For the first time in the history of the competition, three sides from South Africa have joined the party, and the Stormers, Sharks and Bulls are already making waves as the knockout stage looms large.
As ever, you can watch live coverage of every single minute from Round 3, with no fewer than five games to enjoy across a weekend bonanza of elite club rugby.
Read on for previews of every remaining Round 3 game, plus team news and live stream details.
Sunday 15 January
The first of three live games on Sunday afternoon sees Premiership London Irish welcome URC champions Stormers to the capital.
Heineken Cup newbies Stormers made a losing start to European rugby with defeat at Clermont on opening weekend before getting their campaign up and running with a home win over London Irish in Round 2.
The Stormers held off a spirited rally by the Exiles to win their first home tie in the competition.
The South Africans were 24-0 ahead in the second half, but two converted tries gave Irish hope until Junior Pokomela's late score secured a bonus point for the hosts.
Now the two sides resume hostilities in Brentford, with winless London Irish facing a must-win game if they are to stand any chance of extending their Heineken Cup adventure.
Bottom of Pool A and pointless after the opening two rounds, Top 14 giants Castres face an early exit unless they can muster up a first victory of the campaign at home to Edinburgh.
Only Northampton have a worse record than the French outfit after two games having lost to Exeter and Edinburgh in the previous two rounds.
10th in the Top 14 table, Castres have won only one of their last eight games in all competitions as they prepare to host Mike Blair's Edinburgh on Sunday afternoon.
It's less doom and gloom for Sunday's visitors with qualification for the next round still a realistic possibility.
The Scottish region head into the contest fifth in Pool A, having beaten Castres 31-20 at home in Round 2 after running Saracens close in a 30-26 loss at StoneX Stadium in Round 1.
“I honestly believe we are showing traits that are important to enable us to win these games,” Blair told the media this week.
“Going to Castres is one of the toughest places to go in Europe, with the crowd, the size of their pack and the record they have, but we have shown in the last five games we can play. We just need to put it together. That is the key.”
Harlequins will be looking to stay on course for a place in the last 16 when they take on French giants Racing in Paris.
Quins avenged their harrowing home defeat by Racing 92 two years ago by dispatching the French heavyweights 14-10 in the first meeting between these two a month ago.
Quins were crushed 49-7 in December 2020, a record loss in the competition at Twickenham Stoop that brought about the end of Paul Gustard's reign as head coach.
They went on to be crowned Gallagher Premiership champions and while there was little evidence of the swashbuckling rugby that swept all before them that season, they showed the resolve needed to topple Finn Russell's Racing in atrocious conditions.
Having lost narrowly to the Sharks in their opener last weekend, the win keeps alive Quins' hopes of reaching the knockout phase.
Three-time runners-up Racing risk becoming the first high-profile casualty from this season's competition having failed to secure a single victory so far.