SARACENS wheeled out some of their star names for a walkabout in Mill Hill yesterday in a bid to win more support for their plans to move to Copthall stadium.

The Premiership rugby side had members of the first team, including England prop Matt Stevens and fly-half Alex Goode and as well as first-team coach and ex-England centre Andy Farrell on the streets to promote their plans.

Some residents have come out against the proposals, which would see the stadium increased to a 10,000 capacity for up to 16 matches per season with retractable stands.

Many are concerned about noise and traffic problems, as well as concerns about the effect on other local activities which go on at weekends.

As part of the publicity drive Stevens and Farrell went to Mill Hill Broadway to meet with business owners and shoppers to explain the boost the stadium could give them.

Some grilled them on the benefits of the new plans for business, and they were told the club predicts around 3,000 fans will arrive through Mill Hill rail station on match days and use local cafes, restaurants and shops on the way to the ground.

They also handed out posters and letters of support to people who said they were interested in seeing the project go ahead.

Afterwards Mr Farrell said: “People were really receptive to what we were saying, and it will bring a whole new community spirit to Saracens and to the borough as a whole.

“I’ve just met 15 adults in Pizza Express who are part of a local children’s centre and for people like them it will be great, it will be somewhere to take the kids.

“As a new facility and with the artificial surface which will be there kids can start playing early in the morning, right up until the first team match.

“I remember as a youngster playing on the main pitch before the first team game was always like a grand final for me and I want others to experience the same things here.”

New recruit Mr Stevens said the project would is “essential” to give the club an identity and for the players to create a “fortress” in.

He added: “I think stadiums can only be multi-purpose now. The fact is Saracens will be playing there 16 days a year and the rest of the time it will be used by local clubs and many other things.”

Richard Power, director of Richard James estate agents in the Broadway agreed to put one of the “We support the revival” posters in his window and welcomed the plans.

He said: “I do think it would be good for the area, although there are congestion concerns. I think it will bring something new to the whole area and be good for residents, businesses and house prices as well.”