Saracens Rugby Club look set to return to Vicarage Road after following delays to their new stadium in Barnet.

The club was due to move into a redeveloped Copthall Stadium in time for the new season but delays in the planning stage have pushed back the completion date, with the most recent estimate being a January 2012 opening. Saracens has played at Vicarage Road for the last 14 years but the new deal is flexible to accommodate completion of their new home.

A Saracen statement said: "As you will be aware, the club has submitted a planning application to refurbish the Copthall stadium in Barnet. Until the new stadium is ready, it will be ‘business as usual’ and Saracens will continue to play home matches at Vicarage Road, Watford."

The new short-team contract means that Saracens will play at least 10 home fixtures at Vicarage Road during their 2011/12 campaign. "The club is happy to welcome Saracens back to our stadium next season,” said Hornets' owner Laurence Bassini.

"They approached us to see if we could take into account their current situation with regard to their ongoing Copthall Stadium negotiations," he added. "Given the long-standing relationship between Watford and Saracens, it is only right that we considered their request."

There is an option for additional matches - above the original 10 - to be played at Vicarage Road by Saracens, with pre-agreed per-match payment terms.

Posted on 12/05/2011