Saracens move Biarritz match back to London

Saracens have been forced to cancel their plans to take a Heineken Cup match to Cape Town South Africa and moved the match back to London due to a spat in Cape Town itself over the stadium.

Saracens have issued a statement stating that they have “decided the Heineken Cup match against Biarritz on Saturday January 14th will be played not in Cape Town, but in London.”

Last week, Cape Town City Officials announced, to great fanfare, that they would host the match between Saracens and Biarritz at the Cape Town Stadium, built for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

But the Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPFRU) announced earlier this week – seemingly without Saracens knowledge – that the match would be hosted at Newlands and had started selling tickets for the historic event.

A conflict between the City of Cape Town and WPFRU has since broken out and Saracens say that they “have no wish to be a catalyst for conflict between the City of Cape Town and the Western Province Rugby Union.”

The match would have been the first ever Heineken Cup match played outside Europe and had the backing of the IRB, the RFU and SARugby but after this it seems like it will be a long time before all parties can agree to take the risk again.

Saracens nevertheless remain positive and in their statement say that they, “look forward to playing a competitive match in Cape Town as soon as local circumstances allow.”

“Supporters who have bought tickets in South Africa will be fully refunded by Computicket, and Saracens will engage with UK-based supporters who have already booked air tickets and accommodation, and ensure they are appropriately compensated.”

Saracens have not yet confirmed whether the match will be played at Vicarage Road or Wembley where they have taken some of their Heineken Cup matches in the past.

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