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By Chris Jones
BBC rugby union correspondent
Hero Mark Wilson hopes the fans can delight such as Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United when they face Italy in St James’ Park on Friday.
It is the first time England have played a Test match in the north-east, along with the first they’ve hosted outside Twickenham.
Originally from Cumbria, Wilson is a”honorary Geordie” having played more than 200 occasions for Newcastle Falcons.
“North-east lovers wish to be entertained,” Wilson told BBC Sport.
“That’s the big thing for them. [You believe ] back in the nineties if Newcastle soccer were at their best – .
“Hopefully we can entertain them on Friday night”
Before making his own debut in 2010 wilson, 29, joined the academy as a 14-year-old of Newcastle.
Following the Rugby World Cup, he’ll go on loan following their relegation last season, before returning in time to get its 2020-2021 campaign to the Falcons.
He says English rugby must continue to encourage the match at the north of the nation, and feels the conflict with the Azzurri could inspire another generation.
“It is important we still get behind rugby in the north,” he added.
“It’s crazy to think [there is a Test in Newcastle] – if I was a kid the only means to see England was down at Twickenham.
“Thus for a lot of those north-east lovers they are all going to be pretty excited about watching England on their doorstep.
“St James’ Park is a course place to play, and the atmosphere is fantastic. Hopefully people will come out in their numbers and fulfill it.”
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