A RUGBY team from the North Tyne are set to play an international fixture next week.

Border Park RFC will host Long Beach State University, a touring side from California, at Kingston Park, the home of Newcastle Falcons.

The American side’s tour has been organised by Corbridge-based tour operator Sky High Sports.

The tourists will kick off their adventure in Bath on Saturday, against Wells RFC. They will then travel to London to face Streatham-Croydon RFC.

Their game against Border Park is the final match on the tour, before the players head to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

It’s not the first time Long Beach have worked with Sky High Sports.

The company’s director, Richie Gledson said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing the Long Beach team to the North-East.

“We’ve been fortunate to work with the team on their three previous tours to Europe, so when they expressed an interest in travelling to Great Britain, we insisted we would bring them to Newcastle.

“Border Park RFC were our first choice of hosts, so when they accepted the game, we knew the Long Beach guys would be well received.”

The game at Kingston Park kicks off at 7pm on Friday, August 9. Entry is free, and Border Park’s director of rugby, David Batey, was looking forward to the match.

David said: “We’re very excited about hosting Long Beach on Friday. We’re looking forward to giving the Americans a good game.

“We hosted a team from Maine in 2018 and that was one of the most enjoyable days of the past few seasons. There’s a lot of excitement within the squad for the game.”

The Americans will also spend time training with Tynedale RFC, as well as taking on the Go-Ape course at Matfen Hall and visiting Hadrian’s Wall and Vindolanda.

David hoped that already established links with Long Beach will be strengthened by the match.

He added: “Two of our players, Jack Appleton and Rory Dixon, spent time out in California this summer playing with Long Beach during their sevens season.

“It was an unbelievable opportunity for the guys. Hopefully that link between Border Park and Long Beach will continue to grow.”

Long Beach’s head coach, Jason Reynolds, was keen to experience North-East rugby.

He said: “This will be our sixth tour to Great Britain, but our first to Northumberland. Training at Tynedale and getting the opportunity of playing a game at Kingston Park will definitely bring out the best in our players.”