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  • Writer's pictureDurham County RFU Admin

Newcastle 2019 officially launches with guest speakers Dean Richards and Vincent Gaillard

Newcastle 2019 officially launched the European Finals with a breakfast morning for local businesses and community groups at St James’ Park.

The European Rugby Championships 2019, which will see the Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup finals played for among 52,000 people, officially launched this morning with guest speakers. Businesses and representatives enjoyed insight from; Dean Richards, Newcastle Falcons Directory of Rugby, Vincent Gaillard, CEO for European Professional Club Rugby and Sarah Stewart, CEO of NewcastleGateshead Initiative.

The Rugby Championships will bring the best of club rugby to St James’ Park, but the publicity for the City does not end there as 105 stations will broadcast the Final event including NBC.

Dean Richards said: “It is the best club competition in the world, so whatever way you look at sport you picture being among the best.

“So for Newcastle Falcons, it is great to be able to be up there and competing with the best.”

The competition is split into five pools of teams with host city, Newcastle Falcons featuring in pool five alongside Edinburgh Rugby, Montpellier and Toulon.

Richards added: “It is not an easy pool to be in, as are any of the pools, but there is a lot of excitement in the squad about the teams we are playing.

“Each team can perform and win, on their day.”

This is not Richards first experience of the European Championships, as he has led pool four team Leicester Tigers to victory on more than one occasion.

Richards commented on the competition saying; “Since my experience with Leicester Tigers, the competition has grown and the interest around it has as well.

“It is an unbelievable competition which creates an incredible atmosphere, and a real bond between the team and fans.”

For Newcastle, this is two of four major rugby sporting events set to take place in the City in 2019. Before the finals, the Falcons will return to St James’ Park for another ‘Big One’ event and in September 2019 England will face Italy before flying out to Japan for the World Cup.

Sarah Stewart commented: “We have made a big shift from being a football city, to a rugby one as well and that is through these world-class sporting events.

“This was the obvious next step following on from the Rugby World Cup, we are an iconic destination that can offer a great fan experience.”

The Newcastle Falcons will open their European Champions campaign against Montpellier on October, 21 at home.

And with 30,000 tickets already sold for the Heineken Champions Cup Final, you need to buy your tickets for both events, now!

By Clarissa Murphy

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