International rugby is returning to Sandy Park with confirmation today that the Exeter venue is to play host to England Under-20s versus France Under-20s in the Six Nations.
Sandy Park is one of three stadiums, alongside Darlington Mowden Park and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, that have been confirmed to host England’s three home fixtures in the 2017 campaign.
England will kick-off the Championship here in Devon against the France on Saturday, February 4 (12pm).
The popular Exeter venue is no stranger to hosting international fixtures having staged three World Cup games in 2015, England Saxons fixtures, Churchill Cup fixtures and welcomed the GB Sevens at last summer’s Mitsubishi Motors Exeter Sevens.
On each occasion Sandy Park has delivered a vibrant atmosphere and more of the same is expected in support of England’s young talent, which should include current Chiefs Jack Maunder and Josh Caulfield.
Welcoming the announcement, Tony Rowe OBE, chairman and chief executive of Exeter Rugby Club said: “To have more international rugby returning to Sandy Park is fantastic news not only for the club, but for the region as a whole.
“Over the years we have been lucky enough to produce a number of players at Under-20s level, several of whom have since gone on to represent
England at the highest level. We are well aware of how important this stage is for any developing young player and where it can lead them to.
“Sandy Park has shown over the years that is a first-class facility when it comes to hosting international rugby and we have no doubt this will be another great occasion for everyone involved.”
England U20 Coach Rory Teague added: “We have a lot of hard work to put in from now until February and it’s important we make sure the squad are aware and prepared for the intensity that is required of them at this level. The opportunity to represent your country in a special competition like the Six Nations is a real honour for any player.
“The support we receive wherever we play across the country is fantastic and these different environments and new grounds allow us to challenge the players in a number of ways.
“It will be a special occasion playing at Sandy Park for the first time as England U20 and an excellent crowd can always be expected in Northampton. We received brilliant support in Newcastle last year and I’m sure it will be the same in Darlington, it is great that England U20 can play there again.”
Tickets are on sale for this fixture now, with prices starting at just £5. Visit the Exeter Chiefs ticketing site for more information http://ticketing2.exeterchiefs.co.uk
England U20 Six Nations fixtures:
England v France: Saturday 4th February – Sandy Park, Exeter (KO 12:00pm)
Wales v England: Friday 10th February – Eirias Park, Colwyn Bay (KO 7:15pm)
England v Italy: Friday 24th February – Darlington Mowden Park (KO 7:45pm)
England v Scotland: Saturday 11th March – Franklin’s Gardens, Northampton (KO 6:15pm)
Ireland v England: Donnybrook Stadium, Dublin. Date and time TBC