DHL Stormers, Saracens in talks to play friendly in 2021

A poster showing players from English Premiership Rugby club Saracens and Super Rugby club DHL Stormers advertising their proposed friendly. COURTESY: Saracens

The DHL Stormers and English giants Saracens announced their intention to play a friendly at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2021.

“Saracens, the DHL Stormers and Tottenham Hotspur are working closely together with other stakeholders to confirm the details in line with evolving Government COVID-19 safety protocols,” a statement on Saracens’ website said.

Saracens are five-time English Premiership champions and three-time European champions. Despite being relegated to the RFU Championship this year following a points deduction due to salary cap breaches, the club has retained several of its top English players.

Players such as Elliot Daly, Maro Itoje, Billy and Mako Vunipola, Owen Farrell and Jamie George committed their futures to the club despite relegation.

This means that there will be a Rugby World Cup final rematch of sorts between those English players and some of their South African counterparts, who include Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Herschel Jantjies, Frans Malherbe, Steven Kitshoff and Bongi Mbonambi.

It is likely that some of those English players will face the Stormers again during the British and Irish Lions tour later in the year.

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson said a match against one of the best teams in the world was an ideal test of the strength of his squad.

“This trip would give our players the chance to test themselves against a quality team in a world class venue, and we are very much looking forward to being able to be part of this.”

Saracens Chairman Neil Golding said that the intention to set up the match was a strong indicator of the club’s “high ambitions.”

“We want to continue to provide our supporters with fantastic experiences and lasting memories and a game against the DHL Stormers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would certainly deliver that,” Golding said.