Edinburgh snub Saracens’ Cape Town fixture switch offer

Michael Bradley watched Edinburgh slide to a heavy defeat despite leading in the first half

Michael Bradley watched Edinburgh slide to a heavy defeat despite leading in the first half

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EDINBURGH RUGBY have put fans first by rejecting an invitation from Saracens to switch the final Heineken European Cup pool match between the sides to Cape Town.

Sarries, who have a strong South African influence, made an approach to re-locate the tie from Watford to the Western Cape on the weekend of January 18-20 but their pleas fell on deaf ears for a number of reasons, including travel difficulties for fans. Edinburgh begin their European campaign against Sarries at Murrayfield on Saturday and chief executive Craig 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.

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

Saracens counterpart Edward Griffiths said: “It would have created a fantastic occasion for rugby. Rugby is a game that needs to take a step out occasionally. It cannot just do the same things over and over again.

“We are in a very competitive market and we need to be bold and we need to be innovative.”