Overseas watch: Premiership & Top 14
Saracens' perfect start to the Aviva Premiership season continued on Sunday as they recorded a second successive bonus-point win, but their celebrations were marred by the news that former Sharks centre Brad Barritt has been ruled out until Christmas.
The 2011 league champions have claimed ten league points out of a possible ten thanks to Sunday's 44-12 victory over Gloucester.
That win came just hours after the north London club announced that Durban-born England international Barritt had undergone corrective surgery on damaged foot ligaments.
Saracens ran riot despite Barritt’s absence, capitalising on the dismissal of Gloucester prop Nick Wood for stamping on Namibian flank Jacques Burger after just 73 seconds.
Former Springbok and Stormers hooker Schalk Brits scored the third of Saracens’ five unanswered tries while Owen Farrell kicked 17 points as Sarries - who are 50% owned by a South African consortium - climbed to the summit of the Premiership.
After three years on the sidelines, former Springbok flank Juan Smith made his long-awaited return to action in Toulon’s 22-15 loss away to French champions Castres on Saturday.
The 2007 World Cup-winner came off the European champions’ bench in the 61st minute at Stade Pierre-Antoine, but it was his countryman, Castres scrum-half Rory Kockott, who stole the limelight with a man-of-the-match performance.
Three months after helping Castres win the Top 14 Final - also against Toulon - Kockott was again the star as he kicked four penalties, a drop goal and a conversion to outshine ex-England hero Jonny Wilkinson, who kicked all of Toulon's points.
The match saw a number of former Springboks in action with Pedrie Wannenburg coming off the Castres bench while Danie Rossouw, Bakkies Botha and Michael Claassens teamed up in the Toulon starting XV.
Clermont moved to the summit of the Top 14 standings thanks to a 27-13 victory over Grenoble with South African Gavin Hume featuring at fly-half, Gerhard Vosloo on the flank and Daniel Kotze at tighthead prop.
Former Cheetahs and Sharks centre Meyer Bosman helped Stade Français to their fourth win of the campaign, scoring a try as the Parisians beat Brive 25-18 to climb to third in the standings.
Schalk Ferreira started at loosehead prop for Toulouse, who thrashed Biarritz 31-7, to leave the Basques stone last after six rounds.
The other big winners on Saturday were Racing-Métro, who claimed their fist win on the road this season, beating Bayonne 19-16 with former Springbok prop Brian Mujati making a significant impact at scrum time in very wet conditions.
On Friday, ex-Stormers scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage was amongst the try scorers for Perpignan in their morale-boosting 28-16 victory over title contenders Montpellier.