03/02/2009 10:00, Report by Communications Dept.
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Argentina to play at OT

England will play Argentina at Old Trafford in the first of this summer’s two-match rugby union test series.

United's 76,000 all-seater stadium will host the match on Saturday 6 June (16:00 BST). The second test will be in Argentina on Saturday 13 June (venue to be confirmed).

In partnership with Manchester City Council and the Northwest Regional Agency (NWDA), the Rugby Football Union are taking an England international to Manchester for the first time since 1997. RFU chief executive Francis Baron said: "We received a request from the Argentinian 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 Manchester United.

“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 García 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.”

Councillor Mike Amesbury, executive member for culture and leisure at Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester is proud to be hosting an England international, the first to have been staged outside of the capital for over a decade.

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