Saracens request Cape Town Heineken Cup match

Newlands Stadium
Newlands in Cape Town is home to Super Rugby outfit Stormers

Saracens have applied for permission to play their Heineken Cup round five match against Biarritz in Cape Town.

Sarries have lodged the request with European Rugby Cup, the Rugby Football Union and South Africa Rugby.

In a statement the club said it is "committed to acting in the best interests of European rugby".

It added: "In addition, the club will consult widely and seriously with season ticket holders and supporters before reaching any final decision."

The tie, scheduled for the weekend of 13 January 2012, could be played at the 51,900 capacity Newlands Stadium or the Cape Town Stadium, a 55,000-seater venue.

Playing a competitive fixture in South Africa would continue Saracens' relationship with rugby in the country.

The arrival of Springbok captain John Smit after this year's World Cup will take the north London club's quota of South African-born players to 12, although four of these are English qualified.

Club chief executive Edward Griffiths said after the announcement of Smit's impending arrival: "Our player recruitment is always done from a rugby perspective, but having a World Cup-winning captain will obviously do no harm.

"We are an English club with a strong South African flavour and he fits well with that."

The English champions announced on Wednesday they would host December's round three match against Ospreys at Wembley Stadium.

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