Saints, Worcester react to Wasps move

Date published: October 8 2014

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Local clubs Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors have both reacted to Wasps’ move to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Local clubs Northampton Saints and Worcester Warriors have both reacted to Wasps’ move to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Championship side Worcester, who were relegated from the English top flight at the end of last season, have expressed concern over the impact Wasps new base might have on their community ties.

50 miles separate the two team’s stadiums.

“In response to the recent developments concerning Wasps investing in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Worcester Warriors can confirm that the club is seeking clarification on a number of fronts from PRL and the RFU,” read the statement.

“Most importantly, these concern how Wasps’ fan engagement and community programmes will sit alongside the significant investment we have made in our current academy programmes in the area without conflict.”

Northampton meanwhile expressed less concern over the effect having another Premiership club in the midlands would have on their support.

Saints were crowned Premiership champions last season and are 34 miles from the Ricoh Arena.

“The management of Northampton Saints has noted with interest the announcement of Wasps’ move to Coventry,” read a club statement to the Northampton Chronicle and Echo.

“We are also aware of speculation as to the impact that this move will have on the Saints, but do not believe that it will unduly affect the successful model that has underpinned our growth over the past decade and more.

“Franklin’s Gardens is renowned throughout the Aviva Premiership as being a unique and atmospheric stadium. This was reflected in the recent vote on Rugby Tonight (on BT Sport) which named the home of the Saints as supporters’ favourite away ground in the league.

“We do already attract a number of loyal and committed supporters from the Coventry area, and believe that they will continue to be supporters in the future and not change their allegiance.

“However we also have supporters travelling to Northampton from across the East Midlands, Eastern Counties and beyond, and are looking forward to filling an expanded Franklin’s Gardens repeatedly in the future.”

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