Saracens have their pre-Premiership return warm-ups sorted
The five-time Premiership winners will travel to Belfast to face Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium on Friday September 3 (kick-off 7pm), before hosting them on Thursday September 9 (kick-off 5pm) at the Honorary Artillery Company in central London.
Saracens will be fresh from their season in the Greene King IPA Championship, having beaten Ealing Trailfinders across two legs in June to earn promotion. Mark McCall’s side will join the new look Premiership next season, which will consist of 13 teams rather than the usual twelve as relegation has been scrapped.
With five Saracens players currently with the British & Irish Lions, it is unclear how their team will look when they face Ulster, but this should help the London side acclimatise to life in England’s top tier again. They face last season’s table toppers Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate in their opening match of the Premiership season, eight days after their second match with Ulster.
Meanwhile, this will serve as preparation for Ulster ahead of the inaugural United Rugby Championship, which will see the introduction of four South African sides, Bulls, Lions Sharks and Stormers.
The new 16-team league consists of the four Irish provinces, four Welsh regions, two teams from both Italy and Scotland and the four South African sides, and replaces the PRO14. Ulster will be in the Irish pool, where they will play the other teams in the group home and away. Back-to-back matches with the three-time winners of the Heineken Champions Cup will be ideal preparation for this.
This will be the first time the two sides have faced each other since the pool stages of the 2015/2016 Champions Cup. Saracens won both of those encounters before going on to with the championship that season.
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