Saracens have been assured they will be able to complete their European Champions Cup defence even if they are relegated to the Championship first.
The reigning English and European champions will be demoted from the Premiership to the second tier for next term following salary-cap breaches.
The club were deducted 105 points, guaranteeing their relegation, but have continued to progress in the Champions Cup.
The season’s suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic throws up some difficulties, however, as sport is set to return behind closed doors in England before some other European countries.
The Champions Cup may therefore not be concluded until after the next domestic campaign has started in England, with Saracens by then in the Championship.
But European Professional Club Rugby chairman Simon Halliday insists the team’s European challenge will not be impacted.
“Saracens have qualified for the quarter-finals and I’ll defend their right to complete the Champions Cup campaign no matter what,” Halliday said, quoted in the Mirror.
— Saracens Rugby Club (@Saracens) May 11, 2020
“As long as we can complete the tournament, they should be allowed to participate for as long as they keep on winning.”
Saracens have won the Champions Cup in three of the past four seasons and defeated Leinster in the 2018-19 final.
They will face the Irish province again in the last eight of this term’s competition.
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