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Philadelphia focus for Mark McCall and Dean Richards

Philadelphia focus for Mark McCall and Dean Richards

The showdown across the pond between Newcastle Falcons and Saracens this weekend is the match on everybody’s lips and both director’s of rugby cannot wait for the rugby to do the talking.

The two sides will face off in Philadelphia in a titanic Aviva Premiership Round Three bout with the Falcons going into the contest off the back of their best start to a campaign in 13 years.

But the back-to-back European Cup champions could have the edge having played Stateside against London Irish in 2016.

Saracens boss Mark McCall admits he is looking forward to the challenges facing both sides ahead of the clash on Saturday.

He said: “We were lucky to go over to New York two years ago to play against London Irish.

“It is difficult to bring your whole training ground out to a venue so far away but it is something everyone can look forward to and as a squad we’re looking forward to going to Philadelphia.”

Following the success of the inaugural Premiership Rugby regular season match New York’s Red Bull Arena, the League will again stage a match in the United States, this time at the home of the Philadelphia Union: the Talen Energy Stadium.

The League match will be staged by Premiership Rugby as part of a new four-year agreement with AEG – the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company – and in conjunction with NBC Sports.

The chance to play in front of an entirely different audience is something Falcons director of rugby Richards is certainly relishing as he takes his buoyant Falcons side to the historic American city.

He said: “From a playing perspective, if you ask all the players and coaches they’re excited by it and why wouldn’t you be?

“It’s an exciting adventure to get your name out there in the States which ordinarily you wouldn’t do if you played the game up at Kingston Park.”

The Aviva Premiership clash is an opportunity to expand the game into all corners of the globe.

And having taking his team stateside in 2015, McCall believes the game is expanding in the US.

“It’s hugely important to Aviva Premiership Rugby, there’s a lot of sports to compete against,” the Saracens chief said.

“Aviva Premiership Rugby is a really good product and the rugby audience in America appears to be growing all the time and there seems to be interest in the game.

“We hope to catch the interest of them over there with events like this I think it can only be a good thing.”

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