Monday, April 30, 2012

France vs Los Pumas confirmed for Lille

Earlier today it was announced by French rugby sources that the venue for November´ test match between France and Argentina will be the first ever rugby test at the brand new Grand Stade Lille Métropole in Lille. The state of the art stadium is to have a capacity of 50,000 fans for soccer and rugby matches. It is being constructed as an official venue for Euro 2016 which will be hosted by France. The city is no stranger to international rugby but it has been over twenty years since a test was last played in Lille. The match will be played on November 17 in the Northern French city. It is to be the second test of the month for both teams with Argentina playing Wales in Cardiff seven days earlier and France facing Australia in Paris also on November 10th.

The last match in Lille saw New Zealand playing Canada in a 1991 World Cup Quarter Final and as such the city did not host matches during Rugby World Cup 2007, with neighbouring Lens hosting instead despite being a significantly smaller city. The match was played at the Stadium Nord Lille Métropole which has a capacity of just over 18,000. That stadium played host to four tests in total between 1986 and 1991. One of the matches was France vs Argentina with les Bleus winning 28-18 in 1988. The return to Lille will be the third match between the Latin rivals in 2012 after they will have faced each other in Córdoba and Tucumán in June. 

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