The Sharks have officially announced a friendly fixture against English Premiership side Saracens at StoneX Stadium in north London on Saturday, 15 January 2022.
With South African teams moving up north to compete in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, the Sharks are playing regularly against European opposition.
The Sharks will use a travel opportunity in early January to make the journey to face Saracens. Sean Everitt’s team take on Benetton in Italy on Saturday, 8 January and a week later will play Saracens during a bye weekend in the URC.
The Sharks and Saracens have forged strong ties over the years, sharing coaches and a host of top players. With the likes of Billy Vunipola, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell and Vincent Koch likely to come up against the Sharks’ Springboks in Ox Nche, Thomas du Toit, Bongi Mbonambi, Siya Kolisi, Lukhanyo Am, Makazole Mapimpi, Aphelele Fassi and Sbu Nkosi, this game is poised to be a rugby spectacle.
Sharks CEO Dr Eduard Coetzee explained what a great opportunity this match is for the two clubs as well as for the sport.
“To be able to play this fixture in London against a team that has had such a strong South African link over the years is very exciting for us,” he said. “I have no doubt that it will be a memorable occasion for everyone involved with some of the best players in the world participating.
“In line with our vision of taking the Sharks brand to the world, this will also provide the team with a wonderful opportunity to interact with our UK fanbase and to grow our brand in a very attractive overseas market.
“The scene is set for an exciting clash involving two very proud rugby brands with our sport being the ultimate winner.”
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall added: “We are hugely excited about this match. The Sharks are one of the most iconic teams in the sport, so to have added this fixture is brilliant for us.
“I’m sure there will be an amazing atmosphere and with two full-strength teams packed with such high-class players all over the pitch it promises to be a memorable match.”