England's Saracens To Take Top European Rugby To Belgium For One Game
European rugby "enters new ground" on Saturday when England's Saracens play a home match in Brussels, according to Philip Blenkinsop of REUTERS. The match is designed to "spread interest in the game and enhance Belgium's status as an emerging rugby nation." Saracens will host Racing Metro 92 of Paris in a "pool-phase tie" in the King Baudouin Stadium. The arena is "normally a venue" for football and athletics. Brussels Mayor Freddy Thielemans believes that the match "will place the city on the rugby map internationally, persuading other clubs to come." Saracens, who has held coaching sessions in Brussels in the past weeks, said that it expect some 2,000 traveling fans. A similar number "are predicted to arrive from Paris." Organizers estimate the crowd will be between 20,000 and 30,000, "drawn from Belgium's rugby community" and the many expatriates who live in the country's capital (REUTERS, 10/18).