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London Irish to face Saracens in New York Premiership clash

  • London Irish will face Saracens in the Big Apple in March
  • Clash will be held at the 25,000 capacity Red Bull Arena
  • Game will take place five days before St Patricks day
  • The Premiership fixture is the first competitive European club match to take place in America.
London Irish have confirmed that the club will play their Premiership “home” match against Saracens in New York.

The round 16 match, which takes place on the 12th March will be the first Premiership rugby match to be staged overseas. This follows in the footsteps of American football after they started playing competitive NFL games in London at Wembley.

London Irish chief executive Bob Casey said the club intended to be at “the forefront of the development of the game in the USA”.

New York’s 25,000 capacity Red Bull Arena will host the Exiles against reigning champions Saracens in the first competitive European club match to take place in America.

The match, which takes five days before St Patricks day, is thought to be part of a three-year deal.

“Our sport continues to grow in the United States,” said USA Rugby chief executive Nigel Melville. “We believe this event will be another big step forward in the growth of the game.”

Premiership Rugby chief Mark McCafferty said: “There are ambitious plans to grow the game in the States and this is the latest stage in that strategy.”

It is understood that the move already has the backing of the rest of the clubs in the Premiership and if successful it could become a regular feature of the season.