London Irish will play their Aviva Premiership home game against Saracens this season in New York.

Irish and Premiership Rugby have announced a ground-breaking move that will see Irish tackle reigning Premiership champions Saracens at the 25,000-capacity Red Bull Arena - home of Major League Soccer team New York Red Bulls - on 12 March next. 

It is the first Premiership fixture to be played overseas, and heads to the United States, a country where rugby union is currently the fastest-growing team sport. 

A concept of playing the so-called "39th game" outside of England appeared to be an option for Premier League soccer in England seven years ago, but opposition from supporters proved a key contributory factor behind it never happening. 

Irish, though, have no doubt that the venture will be a success, with the Premiership fixture taking place just five days before St Patrick's Day and New York having a considerable Irish population. 

"This is an enormous opportunity for London Irish and a chance for our club to gain exposure in one of the biggest sporting cities in the world," Irish chief executive Bob Casey said. 

"The New York region has a significant Irish community and is renowned for its annual St Patrick's Day Parade, so it's the perfect time for our club to venture into this market. 

The game falls during a busy period in the international and domestic calendar. 

England play Wales at Twickenham in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on 12 March - Ireland also face Italy that day - while Irish take on Bath the previous weekend, when Saracens entertain Northampton.