Saracens will play their European Cup match against Biarritz in Cape Town on 14 January 2012.
The Watford-based club confirmed the news on Wednesday after getting clearance from the ERC, organisers of the European Cup, and the IRB. Saracens announced their ambitions to take this fixture to South Africa last July .
This initiative follows the Sharks/Crusaders Super Rugby clash that was played at Twickenham earlier this year. With a large contingent of Saffas in the Saracens squad, like centre Brad Barritt, No 8 Ernst Joubert, scrumhalf Neil de Kock and hooker Schalk Brits, it was no surprise that Cape Town was targeted as the designated city. Springbok skipper John Smit will also join the club as he retires from international rugby after the World Cup.
‘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,’ said Saracens chairman Nigel Wray.
However, there has been a negative reaction from local fans.
‘A really bad decision that is a slap in the face for loyal Saracens fans. When you are receiving sympathy from fans of other rugby clubs you know you’re really being screwed over’ and ‘So the biggest Home game of the Season is being played 6,000 miles from VR, great decision Sarries’ were the responses on the club’s website.