English Premiership rugby union club Saracens has claimed a first for UK sport by agreeing a partnership with business services group Rentokil Initial.

With no matches having been played since March 8 due to COVID-19, the Premiership will return on August 14 and the strategic partnership aims to help ensure the ‘Safe Return to Sport’ at Allianz Park on August 22, when Saracens take on London rivals Harlequins in their first home game following resumption.

As the club’s official hygiene partner, Rentokil Initial will be providing a combination of bespoke disinfection services as well as installing hand sanitiser dispensers. Disinfection treatments will be tailored to each individual area of the site from the players’ changing rooms, to the stands and the main hospitality concourse.

The service will include the use of UV lamps, electrostatic disinfection and mist blowing space treatment, as well as conventional ultra low volume (ULV) disinfection fogging.

Saracens operations director, Richard Gregg, said: “As a club, caring for our people is at the heart of everything we do and the safety of our players, staff and supporters is of paramount importance to us. As we gear up for our DCMS stage three delivery and return to domestic competition, with games played behind closed doors taking place at Allianz Park, the partnership provides the venue with an ability to create an environment fitting for some of the best players in the world.

“Spectators will benefit from this when they return in the future, and when we welcome supporters back to our stadium they can be reassured it will be to a hygienically clean environment supported by Rentokil Initial products and services.”

Jamie Woodhall, technical and innovation manager at Rentokil Specialist Hygiene and Initial Washroom Hygiene, added: “We are proud to be supporting Saracens Rugby Club with a best-practice approach to hygiene and cross contamination prevention.

“When it comes to Coronavirus disinfection, prevention and protection, each facility is different and must undergo a detailed assessment that takes into account its use, number of people present, footfall and latest government guidance.

“We are working closely with Saracens to provide appropriate treatment so that their players, staff and others stakeholders have confidence every touchpoint within the facility has been considered and disinfected.”

Reigning champions Saracens resume their season having already been condemned to relegation to the Championship following a high-profile salary cap scandal. In January, Premiership Rugby confirmed the punishment of a 105-point deduction for breaches to the salary cap regulations.

In February, German financial services company Allianz opted to end its role as Saracens’ stadium naming rights partner and main sponsor a year early due to the scandal.