The Northern Echo Arena is set to host international rugby when England Under 20s take on Italy U20s in February 2017.
The arena is one of three stadiums that have been confirmed to host England’s three home fixtures in the 2017 campaign, alongside Sandy Park in Exeter and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton.
The Northern Echo previously held international rugby in 2014 when England Counties took on Ireland Club XV, and in 2015 when the stadium hosted an England Double Header.
Danny Brown, head of The Northern Echo Arena events said: “We are delighted England Rugby have decided to return once again to one of the most spectacular rugby arena’s in the country.
“The huge success and following we received at both the counties fixture and the Double Header has proved the appetite for rugby in the North East and where better to host the game than in a 27,000 seater stadium.”
Brown continued: “We will once again look to put on a spectacle off the pitch whilst we know the England and Italian teams will do so on the pitch.
“Many of the players as we have seen before will become fully capped players for England and Italy, you only have to look at Paul Hill who played for DMP and is now a familiar face in the England set up.”
England U20 Coach Rory Teague said: “We have a lot of hard work to put in from now until February and it’s important we make sure the squad are aware and prepared for the intensity that is required of them at this level.
“The opportunity to represent your country in a special competition like the Six Nations is a real honour for any player.”
He added: “The support we receive wherever we play across the country is fantastic and these different environments and new grounds allow us to challenge the players in a number of ways.
“It will be a special occasion playing at Sandy Park for the first time as England U20 and an excellent crowd can always be expected in Northampton. We received brilliant support in Newcastle last year and I’m sure it will be the same in Darlington, it is great that England U20 can play there again.”
England U20s face Italy U20s at The Northern Echo Arena on Friday, February 24th, 2017 at 7:45pm.
Tickets will go on sale on Thursday, December 1st, 2016. Ticket pricing, hospitality and group booking prices will be confirmed prior to tickets going on sale.
Source: Mowden Park