Press Release ER Continental Shield 2017/18

 

08.01.2018

EPCR, the European Rugby Continental Shield's organizing body, have confirmed the details of Round 5 and 6 

 

Based on this year’s competition format, Timisoara Saracens, who’ve ended the first 4 rounds of the pool stage on top of Pool A will dispute their chance to move up to the Play-Offs in April/May against Pool B’s runners-up, RC Batumi of Georgia.

 

 

Rounds 5 and 6 of the ER Continental Shield will be played as ties, on a home and away basis, the winners to be decided on the aggregate scores of the two legs.

 

For Timisoara Saracens the fixtures have been confirmed as follows:

  • Round 5 – January 13th 2018, RC Batumi v Timisoara Saracens, Rugby Arena, Batumi, Georgia, KO 13:00 (Romania)//15:00 (Georgia)
  • Round 6 – January 20th 2018, Timisoara Saracens v RC Batumi, Cluj Arena, Cluj, Romania, KO 14:00

 

“So as to avoid the unpleasant situation of 2017, when the fixture scheduled v Stade Francais Paris in Timisoara was cancelled due to the pitch conditions, we firstly considered to play this year’s January match on a synthetic pitch.

 

Having this in mind, we contacted Saracens London because Allianz Park was the only pitch verified and, so to say, approved by the EPCR to organize European fixtures in January which would be the most accessible for us, considering our partnership with the Saracens.

We were happy that our suggestion of hosting our January 2018 fixture on Allianz Park was swiftly agreed in London and everyone was ready to help, even considered rescheduling the women team’s match of January 13th, if we would have needed to play during that weekend. For this I would like to convey my appreciation and thanks to Saracens’ top management for their swift approval and for the support provided on our request.

 

Although playing on Allianz Park our ER Continental Shield fixture would have been an unique and special event both for us and for the Georgian club, with a great opportunity to raise the interest of London’s rugby supporters to our two countries club rugby, we re-evaluated very carefully and eventually we have decided to no longer host the match in London. Our decision was based, on the one hand, on exceeding both our budget and the Georgian club’s budget for the respective fixture and, on the other hand, due to EPCR’s suggestion that we first exhaust all endeavours to retain the match in Romania, as it should normally be.

 

In the end we have reached an agreement with Cluj Arena’s administration, where underground functional heating is available and we have decided, with EPCR’s approval and the guests’ agreement, to host the fixture in Cluj.

On this occasion we would also like to thank Universitatea Cluj Rugby Club for their offer of support and help with the logistics for the fixture and we’d like to convey our thanks to Cluj Arena’s administration for hosting us.

 

We are aware this is not an ideal situation for our local supporters and we hope that Timisoara can assume, in the nearest future, to host such European fixtures even despite the harsh winter conditions. To this end, we wish that the public authorities empowered to solve Timisoara’s sports infrastructure start working together to reach this objective sooner, rather than later.” (Dusan Filipas, Timisoara Saracens Vice-President)

 
 
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