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Saracens gearing up for trip to Philadelphia to play Newcastle Falcons

Premiership Rugby in the USA

Innovation and experimentation are part of being Saracens according to the club’s CEO Heath Harvey, and that’s why he had no doubts about taking on Newcastle Falcons in Philadelphia.

The regular season match between the two-time reigning European champions and the Falcons on September 16 will take place at the Talen Energy Stadium in Pennsylvania.

And it is just the second time an Aviva Premiership Rugby fixture will take place abroad, but Heath had no doubts in signing Saracens up to this exciting project across the pond.

“I think the word DNA is absolutely right. Whenever there’s anything innovative or something out of the ordinary, it’s not in Saracens DNA to take the tried and tested route,” he said.

“In our make-up; we like to think differently and we have that innovative streak in us. We enjoy nothing more than pushing the envelope and supporting the growth of the league is important to us.

“We’ve been near the top of the league for the last few seasons and we think it’s important when you are in that privileged position to lead and not to follow.

“It’s not in our nature to turn these opportunities down, we have to find good reasons not to go rather than reasons to go.”

Saracens were involved in the first Aviva Premiership Rugby match to be played in the United States when they beat London Irish in New York last year.

This year’s game 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.

And after the success of New York, Heath is confident that the usual home of Philadelphia Union will be full to capacity when Saracens arrive in September.

“Last year was a terrific start, I thought the crowd was a decent size for the first game and I expect we will sell 18,500 tickets and fill the stadium,” Heath added.

“I think there’s a healthy appetite for a sport like ours in the USA. I think people like the values of our sport but they also like the other side of the coin which is the incredibly physical nature of it.

“I know from everyone I’ve spoken to in the Saracens fan base, they are planning to make a trip out there which is what you want to hear.

“There was very little about last time I could be negative about; it was very well received, and there was plenty of publicity around it in New York.

“We’ll look forward to more of the same and for the event to be bigger and better this year. I do think between the two teams and the promoter we’ll put on a hell of a day.”

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