Saracens bring rugby union back to Wembley Stadium on Saturday where their visitors, Harlequins, can expect a tough time as even opposition coaches are describing their hosts in glowing terms. Sale's director of rugby, Kingsley Jones, said after their 19-30 defeat to the Sarries last Saturday:
Tonight we found a good side, very clinical, took their chances, executed their second-half game plan particularly well... Losing their half-backs and bringing on probably better half-backs is a measure of where Saracens are.
A measure of exactly where they are is third place in the Guinness Premiership and a win this weekend would see them safe into the playoffs at the expense of Wasps. Hopes are high for a home victory as that's been the outcome of Harlequins' last eight matches and Saracens beat them 22-9 earlier in the season while also rattling up 58 points in their last home outing and going undefeated at Wembley. So far, each of their three fixtures at the National Stadium has seen them forge knife- edge victories in front of more than 45,000 supporters.
Part of the success in attracting such healthy attendances has been providing excellent overall entertainment for a very reasonable price. This time around ticket holders can expect a pre-match programme based on a medieval carnival that includes circus performers around the venue while in the main arena performances begin at 4:30pm and feature 90s chart toppers Right Said Fred, award winning West End play WarHorse and the RAF Central Band.
Fans are very much being encouraged to join in with the spirit of the occasion with ten thousand "knight's tabards" available either free with a match programme, bought seperately for three pounds, or acquired as part of one of several innovative ticket and merchandise packages put together by Saracens with families especially in mind. Tickets are available at £20 and £10 for adults via TicketMaster or the Saracens ticket office (01727 792 800), who can also offer you the special packages, with junior tickets available at half those prices.
Saracens v Harlequins is this Saturday, 17 April at Wembley.
Photo via nedrichards's Flickr stream.