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Nou Camp will HOSTWARRIORS clash; RUGBY LEAGUE.

CATALANS Dragons say their proposed Betfred Super League fixture against Wigan at the Nou Camp in 2019 will definitely go ahead.

The Dragons have taken up a personal invitation from FC Barcelona chairman Josep Maria Bartomeu to stage a home match at the 99,354-capacity stadium and have selected the Warriors as opponents.

Catalans spokesman Yannick Rey said the Perpignan club received the backing of Wigan at a recent Super League clubs meeting and all that remains to be finalised is the date, with a Saturday in May or June the likely option after the end of the LaLiga season.

Rey said the move is a direct consequence of the Catalans' historic Challenge Cup final victory over Warrington in August.

That Wembley triumph, which delivered the Perpignan club's first silverware in their 13-year history, prompted an invitation from Bartomeu to attend a game at the Nou Camp and Steve McNamara's team paraded the trophy in front of 75,000 fans at last Sunday's derby against Girona.

The idea to take a Super League fixture to the Nou Camp arose out of a private lunch on the eve of the game between the top brass from all three clubs, and Rey said Catalans chairman Bernard Guasch readily agreed.

"We couldn't say no, it's big recognition for the club," he said. "Barcelona have been very impressed with the way we are proud to be Catalan, and to be invited to play a game in one of the biggest stadiums in the world shows a huge amount of respect. It's a huge opportunity, not only for Catalans Dragons but for Super League and for French rugby league."

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 29, 2018
Words:274
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