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Saracens can’t wait to head to Philadelphia, says Richard Barrington

Saracens can’t wait to head to Philadelphia, says Richard Barrington

American fans relish the ebb and flow of professional sport so much that Richard Barrington cannot wait to bring rugby back stateside.

The 27-year-old prop started last time Saracens made the journey across the pond, when they beat London Irish 26-16 back in March 2016 in New York.

That was the first ever Aviva Premiership Rugby match to be held on foreign soil, but with rugby exploding in popularity in the USA, Barrington cannot wait to head back again.

And while his role may be keeping the Wolfpack sturdy in the scrum, Barrington – a cult hero on and off the pitch at Allianz Park thanks to his leading the singing celebrations after both of Saracens’ European triumphs in the last two seasons – is hoping he can help set the platform for Mark McCall’s back-line stars to put on a display of scintillating rugby.

“I had never been to America until I joined Saracens, but now I’ve been four times,” he said. “It’s a great country and it’s great to try and push the sport out there.

“We went over to the USA with London Irish a couple of years ago and it was a great experience in New York – it was tough at the start with the training and the game but the team bonding after was good.

“All Americans really thrive off exciting sports, so if both teams go out there and play some good football then that will draw in some more crowds.

“If we can score some good tries and keep it entertaining then we can expect a great atmosphere.

“Hopefully everyone can buy into it out there and it’s just another platform to show what we’re all about and what a great sport it is.”

The Saracens squad’s air miles accounts will be bulging at the moment, with McCall’s jet-setting players having already enjoyed a preseason trip to Bermuda – which combined beachside fun and bonding with plenty of serious work on the training pitch.

And Barrington is hoping the Wolfpack can create the same kind of atmosphere again next month, with the closeness of the squad vital in Sarries’ Aviva Premiership Rugby and European successes in recent times.

He added: “It can create great memories for us as a squad; we say it all the time but when you go away with the team, I know we did it with Bermuda, but it’s still another chance to get to know a little bit more about someone on all levels.

“It’s never going to hurt us going forward and by knowing someone that much more you can thrive off that on the pitch because we’re a tighter group.

“It’s great to play out there for the sport and it’s an honour for Saracens help push the sport.

“The American boys will look forward to it too, going out there and hearing some familiar voices – we hope to learn a lot from the trip.”

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