Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck believes that Super Rugby's new addition, the Jaguares, will be real contenders in this year's competition.
Los Jaguares, who will feature several internationals who were part of the Pumas' Rugby World Cup semi-finalist team last year, join the Japanese representatives in the South African pools.
And Fleck reckons that the South American newbies should be the most feared side in the Africa conferences.
“The Jaguares are the threat in the Africa conferences, there is no doubt about that," he told Supersport.
“They are going to be a tough nut not only for the South African teams, but also the Australian and New Zealand teams. I won’t say at this stage whether I think they can win the competition, but they are definitely going to be a massive threat and pose big questions of all the teams they play against.”
The Stormers will square off with the Jaguares in a warm-up match next week, something that Fleck believes will act as a good indicator of the Cape Town-based side's form.
“If you go according to what those players did at the World Cup, and the amount of international players they have available to them, you have to say they are a real threat in the competition. We play them in a warm-up game next week (13 February) at Newlands and they will be coming hard at us and I see them as the perfect team to measure yourself against in the pre-season," he added.
"In that sense next week’s clash with the Jaguares will be a good gauge. We’ve certainly worked hard in the off-season and this will be the time to test it.”