England’s Rugby Football Union has confirmed today (Wednesday) that it will play a home Test match at St James’ Park in Newcastle for the first time.

The match against Italy on September 6, 2019 will form part of England’s Quilter Internationals series, which will serve as warm-up fixtures ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

England will also take on Wales (August 11) and Ireland (August 24) at Twickenham Stadium before heading to the 52,000-seat St James’ Park for the final warm-up match. An away fixture against Wales in Cardiff will also be held on August 17.

It will mark the first time that Newcastle has hosted an England rugby fixture and the first time a match featuring the national side has taken place outside of Twickenham since 2015, when the team faced Uruguay at Manchester’s Etihad Stadium.

St James’ Park is the home of Premier League football club Newcastle United. The stadium has also staged rugby league’s Magic Weekend for the past four years and will host rugby union’s Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and Continental Shield finals in 2019.

Newcastle United managing director Lee Charnley said: “We are excited to have brought another high profile rugby event to St. James’ Park and to the city, and look forward to hosting Eddie Jones and his team before they embark on their trip to Japan.”

Image: Martin Le Roy