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saracens vs sharks

A special one-off encounter between two of the world's top rugby union club sides will be aired exclusively on BT Sport, it has been announced.

The broadcaster has secured the TV rights to a friendly between Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens and South African Currie Cup champions The Sharks, which will be played at Allianz Park in London on Saturday January 25th.

The Durban-based side are travelling to the UK as part of their preparations for the new Super Rugby XV season, which gets underway in February 2014.

Five teams from South Africa compete against five each from Australia and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere's premier club competition.

The Sharks have pledged to field a full side against Saracens on January 25th, meaning the likes of Bismarck du Plessis, Willem Alberts, and Jannie du Plessis are expected to feature.

This will be the first time the two club sides have played, but Saracens took on - and beat - the SA Barbarians in a similar fixture back in May.

Marc Watson, Chief Executive of BT TV, described this one-off game as "an extra treat" for BT Sport subscribers.

“BT Sport is going from strength to strength with rugby at the heart of our programming," he stated. "Our coverage is proving to be extremely popular with viewers."

Mr Watson expressed hope that the Saracens v Sharks encounter "marks the beginning of further exciting things to come".

BT Sport is showing 69 live games from the Aviva Premiership for four years from the start of the 2013-14 season.

In addition, the broadcaster is showing the Premiership Rugby Sevens for four years, plus two live matches a week from the French Top 14 league.

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