Belfast Telegraph

Anayi thrilled with Celtic Park final

 

By Steve Simpson

Celtic Park will host next year's Guinness PRO14 final.

The league confirmed that the showpiece event would be held outside a traditional rugby venue for the first time.

The 60,000-seater venue will stage the final on May 25, 2019.

PRO14 Rugby chief executive Martin Anayi said: "Bringing our final to a world-famous stadium like Celtic Park is a truly historic step in the evolution of the Guinness PRO14.

"Since introducing destination final venues in 2015 we have seen the event thrive by making it about fans of rugby and not just the supporters of the two teams competing for the trophy.

"The bid put forward by Scottish Rugby, Celtic FC and the City of Glasgow was compelling, and we're certain that fans across the Guinness PRO14 will share in our excitement.

"Glasgow has so much to offer in terms of hospitality, culture and heritage, and like our finals in Dublin, Edinburgh and Belfast we can offer fans so much more than just a rugby experience."

Dominic McKay, chief operating officer of the SRU and a PRO14 board director, was delighted to secure a return to Scotland for the final after Murrayfield staged the event in 2016.

He added: "We hosted an outstanding final in Edinburgh two years ago and I'm delighted that we will be able to build on this.

"Rugby was a huge success in Glasgow for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, while Rugby Park and Pittodrie have also been great venues for autumn Test matches over the years."

Meanwhile, Eddie Jones has been warned by the Rugby Football Union that England are expected to reverse their recent slump by delivering a successful autumn campaign.

The team's five-Test losing run came to an end with a 25-10 win in Cape Town on June 23 -but the series against the Springboks had already been conceded three months after falling to a fifth-place finish in the Six Nations.

Jones retains Twickenham's backing but must produce a strong November series against the Springboks, the All Blacks, Japan and the Wallabies.

"We plan to win every game. We expect success in the autumn," RFU chief executive Steve Brown said. "We plan to come out the other side successful."

Belfast Telegraph

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