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Edinburgh turn down Saracens offer to play return Heineken Cup fixture in Cape Town
Edinburgh Rugby have this morning confirmed they have rejected an offer from Saracens to play their final pool match of this season's Heineken Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.
Sarries are travelling up to Scotland this weekend to play Edinburgh in the opening round of Pool One and the Men in Black were keen to play the return fixture, scheduled for January 20, in Cape Town.
The club's CEO Edward Griffiths made the offer in the hope that a bumper 50,000 crowd in Cape Town would offer commercial incentives for both clubs as well as the added excitement and status such an arrangement might provide.
Edinburgh though have different ideas and believe a match in South Africa would be to the detriment of their fans and their team.
Edinburgh Rugby managing director Craig Docherty told the club website: “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’m 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 and Scottish Rugby throughout this process and both are happy with our decision.”
Kick-off for this Saturday's match is 1.35pm.