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Hartley: Local support will be crucial in Milton Keynes

Travis PerkinsSponsored by Travis Perkins

Hartley has already skippered the Saints to Heineken Cup wins over Ulster and Perpignan at stadiummk, but is also keen to make amends for the team's last outing at the Rugby World Cup venue, when only the width of the crossbar stopped them beating Saracens in December 2012.

That day may have been an 'away' game for the Saints, but the number of supporters greatly outnumbered Saracens, and Hartley says that having stadiummk packed to the rafters in black, green and gold will give the players a boost.

“It’s not too far down the road from us and obviously we played our Heineken Cup quarter and semi finals there and they were good for us,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of local support there and it will be a home game for us.

“Last time we played Saracens there we actually lost, there was a kick at the end which hit the cross bar so that was a loss that we’d like to put right. Hopefully it’ll be a good occasion with a 30,000 capacity so I’m looking forward to that.”

stadiummk will be hosting three Rugby World Cup games in October, and filling the venue will set the tone for the biggest year of rugby in the East Midlands, according to the England hooker.

“It’s huge for the area to have World Cup games being played here,” he added. “We’ve got the Samoan link there too, with the Pisi brothers, Kahn Fotuali'i and Ace Tuala who will hopefully be playing.

“I’m sure there will be some other familiar faces; a lot of their boys play around the Premiership and in France so no doubt that will be sold out too.”

The match on April 25th will also form part of England Rugby 2015’s testing programme, allowing the organisers to test elements of match day delivery at Stadium MK ahead of hosting three Rugby World Cup 2015 matches: France v Canada on Thursday, October 1st; Samoa v Japan on Saturday, October 3rd; and Fiji v Uruguay on Tuesday, October 6th.

Tickets for the Aviva Premiership clash between the Saints and Saracens are now on general sale through Ticketmaster. Head to www.tinyurl.com/SAI-SAR-1415 and follow the straightforward instructions to book online 24/7.

Hospitality packages are also available for supporters who want to make a special day of it at stadiumMK, including a four-course meal, unique insight from Saints players before and after the match, complimentary house wine, draught beer and soft drinks, and post-match refreshments. For more information and to book your place email [email protected]

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