Apr 18, 2018
SSA and XVIth meet up in Glasgow
On 2nd April 2017, Saracens played Glasgow Warriors in the Champions Cup quarter-final at Allianz Park.
When the fixture was announced, the Saracens Supporters Association (SSA) contract XVIth Warrior, Glasgow’s official supporters club, to invite them to a ‘Beer and Curry Night’ in the Fez Club the evening before the game to enjoy some traditional rugby camaraderie, and indulge in a ‘Question of Sport’ challenge.
The evening was an outstanding success, but in the build-up to the weekend, the social media exchanges started to draw a vast amount of interest across the broader rugby community, with a growing emphasis on the spirit of rugby and #rugbyfamily.
The game the next day was a 15,000 sell-out with 5,000 fans travelling from Scotland contributing to an unforgettable atmosphere at AP. Saracens progressed to the semi-finals but the passion and humility of the Warriors supporters was memorable.
Many lasting friendships were made that day, and some weeks later at the European Final, the XVIth Warrior hosted some of the travelling SSA members and appeared at the final in fezzes, custom T-shirts, and waving Saracens flags.
Fast forward a year and a group of SSA members travelled to Glasgow for a reunion with the XVIth Warrior and lent their support to the Scottish club as they hosted Connacht in the Pro14.
The reunion started at lunchtime and continued through to the pre-match gathering at the Scotstoun, where the group, bedecked in custom t-shirts and fezzes, were welcomed by Warriors supporters and managed to meet Warriors club skipper Ryan Wilson. Warriors won 35-22 and secured a home play-off semi-final.
Post-match, the group was honoured with the presentation of a signed Glasgow Warriors shirt.
The relationship between the XVIth Warrior and the SSA illustrates how sport can bring people together who share a passion for the game and for their team.
For 80 minutes, the passion is directed towards achieving a positive result for their team. When the final whistle blows, the passion is for the sport, camaraderie and friendship.
Plans are already afoot to make this an annual reunion, and Allianz Park is the designated venue for next season.