Rugby World Cup: Mark Wilson hopes England can ‘thrill the fans’ at St James’ Park

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By Chris Jones
BBC rugby union correspondent
Hero Mark Wilson hopes the fans can thrill like Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United if they face Italy at St James’ Park on Friday.
It’s the first they have hosted within a couple of years outside Twickenham, and the very first time England have played a Test match in the north-east.
Originally from Cumbria, Wilson is an”honorary Geordie” having played more than 200 times for Newcastle Falcons.
“North-east lovers would like to be amused,” Wilson told BBC Sport.
“That is the big thing for them. [You think] back into the nineties if Newcastle football were at their finest – .
“Hopefully we could entertain them Friday night.”
Before making his own introduction in 2010 wilson joined the academy as a 14-year-old of Newcastle.
He will go to Sale on loan following the Rugby World Cup, before returning in time to get its 2020-2021 effort.
He states English rugby have to continue to encourage the game at the north of the nation, and feels the next generation could inspire.
“It is important we get behind rugby in the northwest,” he added.
“It is mad to think [there’s a Exam in Newcastle] – when I was a kid the only means to observe England was down at Twickenham.
“So for a lot of those north-east fans they are totally going to be pretty excited about watching England on their doorstep.
“St James’ Park is a class place to play, and the atmosphere is excellent. Hopefully folks will come out in their numbers and fulfill it.”
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