Saracens go for 'artificial' Ulster clash

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The Independent Online

Saracens are in discussion with Barnet Council over the possibility of staging their Heineken Cup quarter-final against Ulster at their new Allianz Park home.

The Barnet ground is the preferred choice for the match, which is to be played on the first weekend in April, with Wembley or Twickenham potential alternatives.

Sunday's test event against Cardiff in the LV= Cup will be the first game played on the artificial pitch in front of a crowd of 3,500, three weeks before the official opening against Exeter on 16 February.

Chief executive Edward Griffiths (above) hopes Barnet Council will grant Saracens permission temporarily to increase the 10,000 capacity to 15,000 to comply with tournament organisers European Rugby Cup's rules for hosting quarter-finals.

"There are a number of hoops to go through before we can hold the match at Allianz Park," Griffiths said.

"We are in talks with the council over the capacity to see if it's perfectly possible to increase the capacity for one match, or if it's too soon.This is our home ground now so we'd like to stage the match here."