Saracens to open Premiership title defence at home

Saracens will kick off the defence of their Aviva Premiership Rugby title at
home to Sale Sharks on Saturday 17 October as world cup reaches the quarter
final stage.

Five weeks ago Saracens lifted the title at Twickenham with a 28-16 victory
over Bath Rugby and are now looking forward to starting their campaign for back-to-back
titles.

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall said,”Sale Sharks at home is a
very difficult start. We know how strong a team they are after we faced the
Sharks in both Aviva Premiership Rugby and the European Rugby Champions Cup
last season. Those four games were tremendously competitive and very tight contests.

“Sale are well-coached side, and they won’t have many players away on
international duty. We know that the fixture list has provided us with a tough
opening game.

“The opening fixtures are hard to forecast for us, as we currently have
21 players away on international duty in their respective training camps, with
guys away with England, Scotland, Argentina, South Africa, Romania, USA and
Namibia, the list goes on.

“It’s a massive test for the depth of our squad as the season starts a
week after the Rugby World Cup pool stages, so until then we don’t know exactly
who we’ll have available but it provides the younger members of our squad with
the opportunity to get some valuable Aviva Premiership experience.,”

Due to the Rugby World Cup the traditional season opener, the London Double
Header, has been moved to Saturday 28 November when Saracens host newly-promoted
Worcester Warriors and London Irish are at home to Wasps in back-to-back fixtures
at Twickenham Stadium.

“The London Double Header is a fixture our group really enjoy playing
in,” McCall added.

“It’s a bit strange this season as it is usually the season opener, but
this year it will be played once the season is all up and running. The last
time we were at Twickenham was a fantastic experience so to go back there will
be great opportunity for some of our younger players to test themselves on the
big stage. ,”

In addition to a match at Twickenham, Saracens will make their annual trip
to Wembley on Saturday 16 April, where they once again face Harlequins. The
champions set a new world record for attendance at a club rugby match last season
when 84,068 watched them beat Harlequins 42-14.

The 2014-15 campaign was a great season for Aviva Premiership Rugby:

– Live TV audiences were up 6%
– Attendances were up 5%
– Last season there were an average of more than five tries a match in
Aviva Premiership Rugby, higher than any other league in the world
– Yet almost half our games finish with only one score difference between
the teams
– Aviva Premiership Rugby is now shown on TV in 147 countries across the
world

For the new season newly-promoted Worcester Warriors get off to a high-profile
start entertaining the champions of 2013-14, Northampton Saints, on the opening
day before back-to-back away games against Sale Sharks and Gloucester Rugby.

The Warriors’ opener has also been selected for live TV coverage by BT Sport,
who on the first weekend will also show Exeter Chiefs’ mouth-watering trip to
The Rec to take on last year’s Aviva Premiership Rugby runners-up Bath Rugby.

Harlequins have announced a number of new signings including Jamie Roberts,
Adam Jones, James Horwill and Tim Visser ahead of the season and open proceedings
with a mouth-watering clash at home to one of their oldest rivals, Wasps, at
the Twickenham Stoop.

Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea said,”We had an incredibly frustrating
season last year and we are just focused on getting our best team on the pitch,
fit and raring to go.

“We intend to right that wrong next season and get

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