Edinburgh won't play in Cape Town

 

Rugby:Edinburgh have rejected an approach by Saracens to play a Heineken Cup pool game between the teams in South Africa.

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Craig Docherty said today the proposal was not “commercially compelling.” Saracens tackle Edinburgh at Murrayfield on Saturday in the opening Pool One fixture of this season’s tournament.

But the Aviva Premiership club were keen to play the return fixture — scheduled for January 20th — in Cape Town. Saracens have already taken one “home” Heineken Cup fixture abroad this season, opting to tackle French club Racing Metro at the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels on Saturday week.

Moves to play a Heineken game against Biarritz in Cape Town, meanwhile, did not come to fruition last term. Edinburgh reached last season’s Heineken semi-finals, beating four-time tournament winners Toulouse on the way in a thrilling quarter-final at Murrayfield that attracted a crowd close to 40,000.

Docherty said: “As a club, our commitment is to our fans and other key stakeholders, such as sponsors, and fundamentally our goal is to qualify from what is a very challenging Heineken Cup pool.

“Following Edinburgh Rugby to South Africa is simply not an option for the vast majority whose support was so crucial to our journey to last season’s semi-final. I am sure they will be desperate to support us in what could be a critical pool game.

“The case made by Saracens was not commercially compelling and, from a performance perspective, would have had a detrimental effect on our preparation for — and recovery from — this match.

“Edinburgh Rugby are open to new and innovative ideas, but the prospect of playing our final pool game in the southern hemisphere was simply not an option that we could seriously consider from a number of different perspectives. “We consulted with tournament organisers ERC (European Rugby Cup) and Scottish Rugby throughout this process; both are happy with our decision.”

Saracens’ official fixture list currently has the Edinburgh game down to be played at Vicarage Road in Watford. It would be Saracens’ last game there before moving to a new home; Allianz Park in Hendon.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.