England to host Pumas at Old Trafford

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The Independent Online

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, with 4pm kick-off, with the second Test in Argentina on Saturday, June 13.

It will be the first time England have played at the ground since their meeting with the All Blacks there in 1997.

The game, originally scheduled to be held in Argentina, was moved to England at the request of the cash-strapped Pumas in a bid to raise more money from the fixture.

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 Garcia 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."