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Saracens to play in Cape Town

Saracens have announced that they will play their Heineken Cup pool stage clash with Biarritz in Cape Town, marking the first time the tournament has seen a fixture played outside Europe.

European Rugby Cup and the International Rugby Board have approved an application from the Aviva Premiership champions which will see South Africa become the 10th country to stage a match in Europe's elite club competition.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray said: "The world is becoming increasingly smaller and well connected, and, as a club, we are committed to thinking big and creating major events that people want to watch. We look forward to proceeding with these exciting plans, expanding the footprint and commercial value of European rugby."

The more follows on the heels of Wasps and Harlequins staging their LV= Cup meeting last season in Abu Dhabi.

While Saracens have yet to reveal which ground the fixture will be played at, Press Association Sport understands that the venue will either be Newlands rugby stadium or Cape Town Stadium, which was build for last year's football World Cup.

Saracens have strong links with South Africa. Their chief executive Ed Griffiths formerly worked for the South African Rugby Union, while technical advisor and former rugby director Brendan Venter was a Springbok international.

Saracens also have 13 South African-born players in their first-team squad, with current South Africa captain John Smit set to join them following the conclusion of the World Cup in New Zealand.


From Belfast Telegraph