Saracens' leading figures have expressed their gratitude to Watford FC as the rugby club played their last scheduled fixture at Vicarage Road on Sunday after a 16-year-stay.

The Men in Black have played home matches at the football ground since 1997 and enjoyed a strong record there, winning 172 out of 233 games. 

CEO Edward Griffiths said: "This was our last game at Vicarage Road and we'd like to say thank you to Watford Football Club because their understanding, particularly in this last couple of years has been fantastic and it's been a great partnership."

The Sarries chief also thanked all those involved at Watford who helped to prevent Sunday's match from being postponed due to the weather, insisting their generosity was symptomatic of the partnership the two clubs have shared in recent years. 

"Over the weekend ever since we knew this game would be challenged by the weather the cooperation with Watford has been fantastic," Griffiths said.

"They came out clearing the touchlines and making sure the game went ahead and that has been symptomatic of the cooperation we have had from Watford in the last couple of years."

Watford were taken over by the Pozzo family last summer and Griffiths added this regime had been the most accommodating in his time at Saracens.

As a gesture of goodwill Sarries pictured four of their players - Jackson Wray, Andy Saull, Alex Goode and Adam Powell - on the front of Sunday's matchday programme in Watford shirts.

"I would say in my time at Saracens, I think we've had four versions of management at Watford football club and the current version has been by far the most pragmatic and helpful.

"I'm not sure how many times a rugby club has put players in football jerseys on the front cover of a programme so that shows the level of gratitude we have."

Sarries will move to a new 10,000 seater stadium at Allianz Park in Barnet, with the first match set to take place this Sunday against Cardiff Blues.

Saracens chairman Nigel Wray wrote in his programme notes: "Before we head to our new home at Allianz Park I would like to wish Watford Football Club every success.

"I am not an expert, but it does seem to me that, rather like us, Watford have now got things right at the top. They are owned by an experienced, football loving family who already own Granada and Udinese. 

"They've brought in a great manager, crucial, and as I write are in the promotion playoff slots. Their time in the Premier League sun will surely come again."

Director of rugby Mark McCall also expressed his gratitude to the Hornets. 

"Vicarage Road has been a good place for us in recent seasons and we have enjoyed our time in Watford, but we have a new and exciting future to look forward to," he wrote.

"On behalf of the squad, I would like to thank all of the Watford FC and Vicarage Road staff for their warm welcome, help and assistance over the years."