This will be the first year that South African sides will take part in the European Champions Cup, and their inclusion has divided opinions all over the park.
For some they believe that the introduction of non-European sides will bring a higher level of competition and bring more excitement to the game, however others believe it takes away from what the competition is all about.
Antoine Dupont is clearly very much of the opinion that it takes away from the ‘legendary’ competition.
“For purists, it’s a bit difficult to grasp,” said Dupont. “Our whole generation has known the legendary European Cup.”
“It’s a new competition now. It’s no longer the European Cup.
“We have to approach it like that and try to see the positive by telling ourselves that we will play new teams. But it’s a bit hard to understand.
“We feel that there is an excitement, a particular flavour,” said Dupont. “Everyone wants to raise their level and the intensity of their game to be able to compete.”
“The last time Toulouse travelled to a full Thomond Park, it didn’t go very well. We shipped 40 points. We know the value that the 16th man can have there and given the history that we have with them in previous European Cups, they will be ready to welcome us.”
The Stormers are the current title holders of the United Rugby Championship, the first time a South African Side has won the competition. This gives a clear indication that the European sides will have a real challenge in this top tier competition.