Seattle OPSB rugby club has become the eighth club to join the Saracens Global Network, and will be known as Seattle Saracens.
The addition of one of the strongest rugby clubs in the United States strengthens a network that already includes Moscow Saracens, São Paulo Saracens, Abu Dhabi Saracens, KL Saracens, Impala Saracens Nairobi, Timisoara Saracens and Toa Saracens.
Nigel Wray, chairman, said: “Developing rugby union in the USA has not been easy because of the sheer size of the country and also because of the huge popularity of the main professional sports, yet there remains huge potential.
“We have spent many months seeking a partner, from coast to coast, and are delighted to have agreed terms to form Seattle Saracens. The club has a dynamic, committed Board and leadership group which embraces men’s rugby, regularly producing US Eagles players, women’s rugby and Sevens. We will work hard to support Seattle Saracens in particular, and US Rugby in general.”
Justin Fitzpatrick, Seattle Saracens head coach, said: “The partnership with Saracens is a huge boost to our efforts to grow the game here in America and provides a new set of opportunities to enhance our proud tradition of rugby in Seattle. From athletes to coaches, our club will undoubtedly benefit from the connection to a world-class organisation and we believe many of our players have the potential to make an impact on the Saracens Global Network.”
Saracens rugby club supports partner clubs within the global network through the provision of kit, coaching support, manuals and community programmes, and offers one young player from each club an opportunity to win a place in the Saracens Academy, a pathway into the professional game.
Kevin Flynn, Seattle Saracens president, said: “From top to bottom, everyone in our club is honoured to work with Saracens to improve the level of play across our teams and continue to build a pathway to produce elite level players who can represent club and country at the highest level. Working alongside one of the most successful clubs in world rugby will expand our ability to market the game to new fans and learn how to build and run a world-class club to help Seattle lead the expansion of rugby in North America.”