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Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Tuesday, 3 February 2009

England to play at Old Trafford

Argentina's Frederico Todeschini tackles England's Jamie Noon
Argentina recorded their first win in England, in 2006

England will play Argentina at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium later this year.

The Test on Saturday 6 June will be followed by another a week later in Argentina, and comes 12 years after England last played in Manchester.

"We are looking forward to a great occasion," said Rugby Football Union chief Francis Baron.

"This is a great chance to play away from Twickenham and aid the game's development in the region."

The game could be a chance for fringe players to stake their claim to an England place as it is being played during the Lions' tour of South Africa, when many of England's big names will be absent.

The last time the teams met was at Twickenham in 2006, when Marcelo Loffreda's Pumas won 25-18, their first win at Twickenham.

That result, under coach Andy Robinson, marked a record-equalling seventh successive defeat for England.


The last time England played at Old Trafford was in November 1997. It was Sir Clive Woodward's second game as England boss, and they lost 25-8 to New Zealand.

"We received a request from the Argentinean Rugby Union to play one of the tests in England to generate funds to invest in their squads," said Baron.

"We are delighted to have been able to help them by securing Old Trafford, one of the most famous football stadiums in the world."

Manchester United chief executive David Gill also welcomed the news.

"We are delighted that Old Trafford has been chosen to host this international fixture," he said.

"It underlines the stadium as one of the premier venues in world sport, and we look forward to welcoming both teams to the Theatre of Dreams."

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