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  Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 12:43 GMT
Saracens - Vicarage Road
Vicarage Road - home of Saracens RFC
Vicarage Road - Not your typical rugby ground
BBC Sport Online's Ed King

Vicarage Rd - Capacity 20,000

For a ground that as recently as 1999 hosted Premiership football action, it is no surprise that Vicarage Road is a mightily impressive arena.

Three carnivorous stands, likely to swallow most rugby crowds that venture here, surround the ground, with the east stand taking the plaudits as the poor cousin.

Despite this, Vicarage Rd maintains an intimacy to the pitch, and with excellent facilities on and off the field, promises to be a good day out whatever the weather.

Where to stand/sit?

The Rous stand, which runs the length of the pitch, is where most Saracens fans plant themselves, offering good views and cover.

For more adventurous souls, you could try the Rookery stand at the southern end of the ground, although make sure you sit half way up as the bottom rows dip below the pitch level.

The East stand, where the players emerge from, is a hotchpotch of temporary stands and ancient sheds - so just like your average rugby ground then. Avoid it.

Pubs to visit:

The Red Lion, opposite the stadium, is a good bet for a pre-match pint. It's full of Saracens and Watford FC paraphernalia, and gets very full before a game.

You could also try Watford High Street, which runs for about half a mile. There are plenty of pubs up here, ranging from traditionals such as the One Crown, to theme pubs such as O'Neills and Yates.

Restaurants:

The Pasta Bowl comes recommended. A modern and slightly garish restaurant at the top end of the High Street. 01923 211283.

L'Artista is a favourite with the locals. Once again this is a pizza/pasta haunt in light and airy surroundings. 01923 210055.

Pizza Express. As if two Italians were not enough, here's a third, with all the usual Express fare. 01923 213991.

All restaurants and pubs on the High St are about 10-15 minutes walk from the stadium, which is well signposted.

Top tip

If you're a sensitive soul, bring some earplugs, as Vicarage Rd's PA system is a mighty beast.

Directions:

Car: From West, N-west, take the M25 clockwise to J19, then follow the A411 to Watford. Once in town follow the AA signs to the ground.

South, N-east, exit M1 at J5, and follow the A4008 to Watford Town centre. Again follow the AA signs.

There is limited parking for supporters at Watford Grammar school, just down the road from the ground.

Train:

Services from Euston, Northampton and Birmingham stop at Watford Junction, while services from Euston via Willesden Junction (ideal for visitors from the west) stop at Watford High St, a 10min walk from the ground.

The Metropolitan line stops at Watford Underground station, although it is quicker to get the overland services.

Did you know?

Vicarage Rd holds the record for a Premiership crowd attendance, 19,000 back in 1997 against the season's champions Newcastle.

Prices:

U16 7

Students 7

OAPs 7

Ratings:

  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Access: 8
  • Toilets: 7
  • Location: 6
  • Bars: 7
  • Pies: 6
  • Disabled facilities: 9

Contact details:

Club: 01923 475222


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