Ignatians rugby club swapped playing fields for Allianz Park in Barnet for a 12 hours of rugby

'Big day out' for Enfield rugby club

Ignatians players at Allianz Park on their 'Big Day Out'

Players on the pitch

First published in News
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Amateur rugby players had the opportunity to play at one of the best rugby grounds in the country when they went on a ‘big day out'.

Enfield Ignatians Rugby club swapped their Donkey Lane playing fields for Saracens' stadium Allianz Park in Hendon, Barnet, for one day on Saturday.

The 10,000-seater stadium is home to Saracens rugby club and players of all ages right up to the men’s sides played their fixtures at the ground.

Players and fans came and went throughout the day with the showpiece men’s first XV starting at 7.30pm.

Organiser Harold Pritchard believes it was the first time in the world a non-professional rugby side has been able to play all its games for one day at a professional stadium.

He said: “This is not something you see everyday, nor in fact do we believe this has happened anywhere in the world.

“The artificial surface has meant that we can field 600 players from all teams on one pitch, in one day, which is incredible.”

The carnival atmosphere gave players the chance to play in front of television cameras and feel like professionals.

Mr Pritchard added: “Everybody is having a great time and this is one of the proudest days in the club’s history. Everyone has been made to feel like a superstar with all their names being announced over the tannoy.

“We have put in months of hard work and many hours with Saracens. I would like to thank everyone involved at the club, as well as Saracens, who have made this possible.”

Faddie Fayaz, 13, played for Ignatians in their sides 20-19 win and said: “I loved every moment, the pitch is massive compared to our regular games and there’s more space to run into.”

Connor McDermott, 14, said: “It was great to play at a ground like this; I hope we can do the same next year.”

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