London Wasps will make history by becoming the first English side to stage a competitive match outside the country after confirming their LV=Cup clash with Harlequins in January will take place in Abu Dhabi.
The match on January 30 will be played under flood-lights in a specially constructed stadium with a capacity of 5,000 in the grounds of the Emirates Palace.
The move has gained the full support of LV= Cup tournament organisers, the Rugby Football Union, title sponsors LV=, Premiership Rugby, the International Rugby Board and Sky Sports, who will broadcast the game live.
Season ticket holders and supporters who have already purchased tickets, that do not travel will be offered a refund for the match.
Wasps’ board director Lawrence Dallaglio sympathised with fans at the moving of the game but insisted the move was in the interest of the club and would represent a unique opportunity for the players.
He said: “To be the first club to take a competitive game of rugby overseas really reflects Wasps desire to be innovative and try new things. We want to ensure that Wasps has a long term future and it is steps like this that strengthen the club and develop a global brand.
“We know that there will be some disappointment for those fans that cannot travel, but we know our supporters want long term success and stability and one-off opportunities like these can only help build our profile, appeal and reach.
“For the players this is a unique and hugely exciting experience and one which we are all really excited by. The LV=Cup has a strong role in the development of our young aspiring talent and what a fantastic experience for any player to list as part of their playing career.”