Saracens will play a big part in creating history on Saturday as Aviva Premiership Rugby prepares for its first-ever game overseas, and backs coach Kevin Sorrell insists his side are relishing playing the part of pioneers.
In the build-up to St Patrick’s Day festivities, London Irish will play host to defending champions Saracens at the 25,000-seater Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
And if either side need more incentive to become the first Aviva Premiership Rugby victors outside of the UK, both head into the fixture off the back of defeats.
Another loss could see Saracens knocked off top spot by Exeter Chiefs come the end of the weekend while for the bottom-place Exiles, every point is a precious one from here on in.
Sorrell is confident though that the American crowd will be treated to a classic Saracens showing on Saturday – and he also believes that the magnitude of the occasion will serve as special inspiration.
“We always try and do things a little bit differently and try and create some memories along the way, so we’re pretty fortunate that it’s us who are playing over there,” he said.
“Again, it’s exciting to be doing something for the first time in a different country and to show what rugby is about and what the Premiership’s about over in America, so hopefully it’ll be a good occasion for both teams.
“We always prepare regardless of the opposition. We always prepare in the same way and be as consistent as possible so our preparation will be just as thorough for this performance as any other really.
“Hopefully we can have a good week’s training and then put the plan out on to the pitch so it’ll be very consistent to what we normally do week to week.”
New Jersey and neighbouring state New York have a large population that can claim Irish roots – so don’t be surprised if much of the support is decked out in green on Saturday.
However, Sorrell welcomes the support in any shape or form and envisions rugby as having a bright and brilliant future across the pond.
“I’m sure all the Irish that are in New York will come out and support London Irish, but we’re just looking to give as good account of ourselves as we possibly can,” added Sorrell.
“With the way the Americans do their sport and with their own professional league just starting up this year, I think in two or three years’ time it could be a really big thing over there.”
For tickets to this historic match go to londonirishusa.com