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Newcastle Shortlisted To Host Both European Cup Finals

The city of Newcastle has been shortlisted to be the host of the 2018 European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals.

If the bid is successful, it would see the Champions Cup being played for at the home of Newcastle United: St James’ Park. This would be considered a welcome shot-in-the-arm for rugby in the north of England, with a major European final having never been played outside of London when England has hosted the showpiece event.

St James’ Park has a capacity in of over 52,000 and successfully staged a trio of major international matches during Rugby World Cup 2015, with full crowds drawn to the city for games involving New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Tonga and Samoa.

The Challenge Cup final is proposed to be held at Kingston Park Stadium, home of Aviva Premiership Rugby club Newcastle Falcons.

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have decided to not make public the number or identity of rival bids.

The EPCR will now be visiting all sites on the shortlist in all candidate cities as part of a selection process through to March 2017, before a final decision is made in April 2017.

Both finals this season are being played in Edinburgh, with both the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup taking place at Murrayfield.

Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena

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