Perpignan wish they weren’t here...

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THE people of Emerson Valley had a bit of a surprise on Saturday when the Perpignan rugby union team turned up on their doorstep.

The French side were in town to play against Northampton Saints at stadium:mk the following day, and were invited to train at the Emerson Valley Sports Pavilion by Milton Keynes Rugby Club.

The sports governing body, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) had suggested the idea as Perpignan were looking for a place to practice ahead of Sunday’s Heineken Cup semi-final against Saints.

However, their trip to the city did not prove to be a very memorable visit for the team from the south of France as they lost 23-7 in front of more than 18,000 fans, with Saints going on to meet Leinster in the final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on May 21.

MK Rugby Club president John Silk said: “It’s good to be considered for this sort of thing - I don’t think it would have happened at our old Greenleys home!

“It all happened at really short notice but we were happy to oblige and welcome them. They only made the call on Thursday but it was great to have them here. But it obviously didn’t work out for them on Sunday though - Saints’ forwards were just too good for them and it was quite a comfortable win in the end.”