Old Trafford to host England against Argentina Rugby Test
Thursday, 2nd April 2009
2nd April, Manchester
Tuesday February 3, 2009 Issued by Dave Barton ENGLAND will play Argentina at Old Trafford in the first Test of this summer's two-game series.
The 76,000 all-seater home of Premier League champions Manchester United will host England and the Pumas on Saturday, June 6 (4pm kick-off) with the second Test in Argentina on Saturday, June 13 (venue to be confirmed). In partnership with Manchester City Council and the Northwest Regional Agency (NWDA), the Rugby Football Union are taking an England international to Manchester for the first time since 1997.
RFU Chief Executive Francis Baron said: "We received a request from the Argentinean Rugby Union to play one of the tests in England to generate funds to invest in their squads. "We are delighted to have been able to help them by securing Old Trafford, one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, and our thanks go to Manchester City Council, the NWDA and Old Trafford itself. "Rugby Union is thriving in the North West and this is a great opportunity for us to play a match away from Twickenham and aid the development of the game in the region. Tickets will be competitively priced and we are looking forward to a great occasion."
Ricardo Garc-a Fernández, Chairman of the Professional Rugby Board of the Union Argentina de Rugby, said: "We are really happy with the agreement with the Rugby Football Union to play the first Test match in Manchester. Those extra funds we will get for playing there allow us to continue investing in our local development programmes. "Regarding the second Test to be played on June 13 in Argentina, we will know the venue at the end of February after having concluded the diligences with those local unions that have applied for hosting this Test match."
Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester is proud to be hosting an England international, the first to have been staged outside of the capital for over a decade. This yet again reinforces our position as a world-class destination for sport. "Manchester City Council has worked hard to help secure this event which underlines our commitment to bringing major sports events to the City. We hope this is just the start and we will continue to bring international rugby matches to Manchester in the future. "This opportunity has allowed us to strengthen our links with the RFU, with whom we're already working with, to develop the sport across the City. This event will help us to support local schools, clubs and communities to get involved in rugby activities whilst enjoying world class rugby on our doorstep."
Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications at the NWDA, added: "Securing this match between two world class teams is a fantastic coup for Manchester. Sport makes a huge contribution to our regional economy and we expect tens of thousands of fans to head to Manchester in June. We are pleased to have been involved in bringing such a high-profile event to the region."
Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill said: "We are delighted that Old Trafford has been chosen to host this international fixture. It underlines the stadium as one of the premier venues in world sport and we look forward to welcoming both teams to the Theatre of Dreams."
Ticketing details will be available in due course.
For more information please contact: Dave Barton, RFU Press Office, 07736 517610,
Rafael Lar-a, Unión Argentina de Rugby Press Office, +54 11 4515 3524,
Roz Hughes, Manchester City Council Press Office, 0161 234 3337,
Sam Shale, NWDA, 01925 400264,
Phil Townsend, Manchester United Press Office, 0161 868 8148
Note to desks *
England played at Old Trafford in November 1997 when they lost 25-8. * England last played a game away from Twickenham in England in November 1998 when they beat Holland 110-0 and Italy 23-15 respectively at the then McAlpine Stadium in Huddersfield.
Dave Barton National Media Manager Rugby Football Union +44 (0)1453 845333 +44 (0)7736 517610