Former England star David Wilson says he is envious of his Newcastle Falcons team-mates running out at St James’s Park today in front of 25,000 fans.
Falcons host Northampton Saints at St James’s in a fixture dubbed the ‘Big One’, with a record attendance expected for a ‘home’ game involving the club.
South Shields-born Wilson has been capped 44 times by England and played in front of huge crowds at Twickenham and in World Cups, but says he would give anything to be part of the occasion today.
“When I played against Newcastle for Bath, it’s tough to come here,” said Wilson, who isn’t involved in the first team squad.
“It’s wet, windy – you don’t know whether to stay the night before, nobody can work it out. So that’s a big advantage, the surface, once we get used to playing on it more gives us an advantage.
“So, everything’s in our favour at home but Newcastle is a place where people fear to play at because they can get turned over and we’re always up for the fight anyway!
“I’d give anything to play there, I’m playing in the A League game the next day but I’d do anything for St James’s in front of 24,000 people, so it’ll be a great occasion for the boys, what they deserve.
“I just hope it goes well for them. Ultimately, it’s going to be a great occasion – lots of people to come along, love the rugby and hopefully we can get more along every week to get involved.”
Kick-off is 5.30pm with tickets still available by calling 0844 372 1892.
Wilson was speaking on behalf of Land Rover, the Official Vehicle Partner of Premiership Rugby. Land Rover is celebrating its Testimonial Season of supporting grassroots rugby in the UK through the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.