x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Harlequins chief needed little persuasion to come to Abu Dhabi

Mark Evans, the chief executive at Harlequins, admits to being caught by surprise by Wasps' request to stage their LV Cup fixture.

London Wasps and Harlequins will play their LV Cup match at the Emirates Palace hotel on Sunday.
London Wasps and Harlequins will play their LV Cup match at the Emirates Palace hotel on Sunday.

ABU DHABI // Mark Evans, the chief executive at Harlequins, admits to being caught by surprise by London Wasps' request to stage their LV Cup fixture in Abu Dhabi but needed little persuasion.

The two London rugby clubs will make history on Sunday when they meet at the purpose-built 5,000 capacity stadium at the Emirates Palace hotel in the first ever domestic British rugby union match to be staged outside of the UK.

"We think it is a really exciting idea and we are delighted to be involved," Evans said. "I wouldn't rule out a repeating the exercise with one of our home games in the future."

Evans maintained that the issue of whether supporters who look forward to traditional London derbies were protesting about the venture was more relevant to his Wasps counterparts.

"We are the away team so we are sidelined here," he said. "Taking an away game out of the reach of the supporters is not that big a call."

The match kicks off at 7.15pm, with a curtain-raiser between Abu Dhabi Harlequins and Trevor Leota's Dubai Wasps taking place at 5.30pm.

wjohnson@thenational.ae