Rugby trophies to go on show at fire service HQ as part of North East tour in lead up to final games

Rugby fans will be able to get up close to the prestigious Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup trophies as they embark on a tour of the region ahead of a weekend of finals.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 8:56 am
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 9:03 am
The trophies are touring the North East as part of the Newcastle 2019 Finals. Picture by INPHO/James Crombie.

Community groups, businesses, rugby clubs and schools are part of the Trophies Tour in the lead up to the Newcastle 2019 Finals in May.

The three-week programme is set to cover 59 events and starting from tomorrow until Sunday, April 14.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's headquarters in Barmston Mere.

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As part of the tour, the trophies will be at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Barmston Mere, Washington, on Monday, April 8, from 10am until noon, helping the organisation as it marks its 45th year.

The next night they will be on show in South Shields.

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Chief fire officer Chris Lowther said: “We’re thrilled and honoured to be part of the European rugby trophies tour as we are the only emergency service to play host.

"We’d encourage rugby fans to join us at our service headquarters to see these prestigious trophies before the finals in May.

“This is a great way to kick-start our 45th birthday celebrations and our sports and welfare club are planning lots of sporting activities to celebrate throughout the year.”

Newcastle is hosting the Greatest Weekend in Rugby from Friday, May 10, when it kicks off at St James’ Park with the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, followed by the Heineken Champions Cup Final on the Saturday.

Mick Mangan chairman of TWFRS Sports and Welfare Club said: “I’m immensely proud that we will welcome the sport of rugby’s coveted trophies into our organisation.

"We appreciate this opportunity to showcase this event as a starting point for the Sports and Welfare Club’s 45th anniversary and could not think of a better spring board for the future events in 2019/20.

"We welcome sports fans to come and enjoy this opportunity with us.”

During the Trophies Tour fans will have the chance to win tickets to the Challenge Cup Final on the Friday by getting the best selfie with the trophies and sharing them via Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #Newcastle2019TrophiesTour.

Mick Hogan, Newcastle 2019 event director, said: “In the build-up to, and during the Newcastle 2019 Finals, we are looking to engage with a wide range of communities in the region and the Trophies Tour is a crucial part of this.

"As well as the rugby community, we want to attract new people to the sport and build excitement for what promises to be the greatest weekend in rugby.

“Both the Heineken Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup trophies are very prestigious and impressive.

"We’re sure they will generate tremendous interest and will draw in large crowds to see the two trophies.

"As well as drumming up excitement for the Newcastle 2019 Finals, we want to showcase our wonderful region to fans from all over the world.”

Newcastle 2019 is the fastest-selling Heineken Champions Cup final ever, with fans waiting for news of a further, limited release of tickets on general public sale as allocations for fans of finalist clubs are being re-assessed throughout the season.

Tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final are also showing healthy sales and it is on course to be one of the most attended finals ever.

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