Posted in News on Thursday, March 31, 2016 by The Beachcomber desk
March 17, 2016: Reigning English champions Saracens and Asia Pacific Dragons are the latest teams confirmed for the World Club 10s, which will be held in Mauritius from June 18-19. The two teams were announced at a press conference in Port Louis on Thursday.
South Africas Cell C Sharks and three-time European Champions Cup winners RC Toulon were confirmed at the tournaments launch in February, while Australias in-form Aquis Brumbies and Top 14 holders Stade Francais Paris were announced earlier this month. The two remaining sides will be announced soon.
The presence of the English, French and European champions in Mauritius boosts the chance of the tournaments first northern-hemisphere winner, after Auckland franchise Blues won the inaugural edition in Singapore two years ago.
Saracens secured their second Premiership title last season, edging table-toppers Northampton away in the semis before beating Bath 28-16 in the final in front of 80,000 fans at Twickenham.
Established in 1876, Saracens are Londons premier rugby club, competing in the Aviva Premiership, the European Champions Cup and the Anglo-Welsh Cup. From humble beginnings, Sarries have developed into one of world rugbys most respected, renowned and recognisable teams.
On the pitch, the Men in Black are enjoying a period of unbridled success after a record breaking 2014/15 season in which the north Londoners won six domestic trophies, including a historic league and cup double.
Off the pitch, with a move to Allianz Park in Barnet in 2013, Saracens have won numerous awards for their community work.
Heath Harvey, CEO of Saracens, said: As Saracens celebrates its 140th birthday, the club is really excited to confirm its participation in the World Club 10s in Mauritius. We are joining an impressive line-up of teams, which now features the reigning champions of England, France and Europe, as well as the Brumbies, Sharks and Asia Pacific Dragons.
The World Club 10s marks Saracens first time to Mauritius, a special destination for a special tournament.
Asia Pacific Dragons (APDs) finished third in the inaugural World Club 10s and are one of two teams along with Brumbies, runners-up in 2014 to return to the eight-team competition.
Founded in 2011, APDs have a strong track record in 10-a-side rugby, having won the famous GFI HKFC 10s in Hong Kong three times in their five appearances, while they also won the SCC Sevens in Singapore in 2013.
APDs also have a good reputation in 15-a-side, last month going down 34-26 to Western Force in a rematch of the teams pre-season encounter last year. In 2013, APDs upset Japan 35-29 as Eddie Jones side prepared for the Asian 5 Nations, while the APDs also won the Chartis Cup in Hong Kong in 2011 and 2012.
All Blacks legends Mils Muliaina, Justin Marshall, Christian Cullen, Jimmy Cowan and Jerry Collins, Wallaby heroes George Gregan, George Smith and Radike Samo, Samoan Bulldozer Alesana Tuilagi, Fijian stars Nemani Nadolo and Rupeni Caucau, and Tonga captain Nili Latu are among the many stars to play for the APDs.
Tana Umaga and David Campese have both coached the side, with the former guiding the APDs to three GFI HKFC 10s wins in four years.
The eight-team World Club 10s is again supported by tournaments for amateur clubs, universities, womens teams and age-group sides, many competing in Mauritius for the first time.
Arnaud Martin, Chairman of Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA), said: We are very excited that English champions Saracens and the Asia Pacific Dragons are joining the World Club 10s in Mauritius as this event builds some great momentum.
The 2016 World Club 10s is sponsored by Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, Air Mauritius and Beachcomber Hotels, sanctioned by World Rugby and Rugby Union Mauritius, and owned and organised by Carinat Marketing.