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Wasps consider overseas cup fixture

Wasps confirmed on Thursday they are exploring the possibility of staging their LV= Cup match against Harlequins abroad.

Abu Dhabi is reported to be the preferred destination for the fixture against London rivals Harlequins in a ground-breaking initiative for English rugby. The match is currently scheduled to take place at Adams Park on January 30.

Wasps, however, have stressed no agreement has been reached and that the feasibility of the idea is still under discussion.

"The club are looking into plans around this fixture but at this stage nothing is set in stone," read a statement. "The club are in consultation with the Rugby Football Union, LV and Harlequins.

"We are always keen to find ways to be innovative and extend the footprint of the club, while promoting the sport, but at this time nothing is agreed."

It would be the first time a competitive fixture between English clubs has been played overseas.

The Anglo-Welsh Cup, which has the lowest profile of the competitions open to Aviva Premiership clubs, would be an ideal testing ground for such an ambitious move.

Should the plan prove successful, it would raise the possibility of Premiership matches also being showcased on foreign shores.

Football recoiled with horror at the prospect of the 39th Barclays Premier League game and the controversial idea was quickly shelved. But rugby supporters are less militant with the traditional London double-header, the season's curtain-raiser at Twickenham, now an accepted part of the calendar.

There would undoubtedly be some disgruntlement, but the commercial appeal of performing before large ex-pat communities in destinations such as Abu Dhabi would be hard to resist.


From Belfast Telegraph