Less than 24 hours after Saracens played their first Premiership match at Allianz Park, colts sides from Partner Clubs Enfield Ignatians and Cheshunt took the artificial turf pitch on Sunday with Enfield running out 22-7 winners.
More than 400 people turned out for the game demonstrating the attraction of Allianz Park to not just players but a number of supporters who could not get a ticket for Saracens bonus point win over Exeter the day before.
Further to this a second fixture between Enfield Ignations and Stockwood Park at the U16 age group also provided the experience of playing at Allianz Park for even more players from the local club.
Ignatians Youth Chairman Harold Pritchard was delighted with the turnout. He said: “We had originally planned to play just one game, which was the colts fixture, and send just one coach. However, the response throughout the club was terrific and, in the end, we played two games and sent five coaches to Allianz Park which included a massive travelling support. I estimate that around 300 people from the club watched the two games and, obviously, if you factor in the numbers of the Cheshunt and Stockwood Park (our second opponents at U16) contingents, then the numbers were clearly that much bigger.
“Originally, the idea was that we were to have access to the pitches only. However, Saracens were very generous and also made the stands, changing rooms and some concessions available to us once they became aware of the numbers involved, and this added to the bonus of the sunny weather, made for a very memorable occasion. We wanted to give the players experience of a ‘professional’ and different environment, and the fact that we had around 100 members of the minis acting as a guard of honour added immensely to the occasion. It was also great to be able to play at Allianz Park the day after Saracens played their first Premiership game there against the Exeter Chiefs.”