European club rugby finals set for Bilbao and Newcastle

Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and Contiental Shield finales will break new ground

The San Mames in Bilbao will host the 2018 European club rugby finals. Photo: Getty Images

The San Mames in Bilbao will host the 2018 European club rugby finals. Photo: Getty Images

 

The European club rugby finals will break new ground in 2018 when the Champions Cup, Challenge Cup and Continental Shield finals take place in Spain for the first ever time.

The newly developed San Mames stadium in Bilbao – home to football club Athletic – will stage the three games with the 2019 finals taking place at St James’s Park in Newcastle.

The home of Newcastle United, which holds over 52,000 fans, previously hosted three games during the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

“We are very excited to be taking the best club rugby in the world to fans in what is largely a new market,” EPCR chairman Simon Halliday said today.

“Bilbao is an excellent destination which breaks new ground for our tournaments and we see this as a big step in the expansion of our sport across the continent.

“Fans have previously flocked to matches in Spain both in the European Cup and for last season’s Top 14 final, and they will be sure of a unique, atmospheric weekend in 2018.

“Newcastle’s commitment to the bid also made it an easy decision to award them the finals in 2019, building on their significant experience of staging major sporting occasions including Rugby World Cup 2015 matches.”

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