Aberdeen Stadium to host Toulouse-Racing Metro rugby match
Organisers of the Natixis Rugby Cup in November have chosen Aberdeen Stadium over Hong Kong Stadium in a bid to replicate the "convivial" atmosphere of a French league match.
Star-studded French clubs Toulouse and Racing Metro will clash at the 8,000 capacity Aberdeen Stadium on November 9.
"It's not just a game, it's a rugby week, similar to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens for all rugby fans," said Jean-Baptise Aldige, director of promoters Team One Asia. "We will provide significant access to the teams in the week before the game, with both professional teams sharing training sessions with senior clubs and a number of school visits and children's clinics.
"Aberdeen Stadium was chosen in the same vein as it offers the conviviality we are looking for in the match, as opposed to the Hong Kong Stadium. The 8,000-seat stadium will make for a unique opportunity to get up close with the teams and contribute to what we are sure will be a fun and noisy atmosphere, replicating that of a French league match."
The match between the two French giants, who will be brimming with a number of French internationals and overseas stars, will cap off a week-long festival of French rugby with "egalite and fraternite for all".
"Community is an essential part of what we want to achieve with the Natixis Rugby Cup. We've worked closely with the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union to ensure the local rugby community is heavily involved in the build-up to the game," said Aldige.
Toulouse are one of the premier rugby clubs in Europe, and will bring a legion of French and international stars including New Zealanders Luke McAlister and Hosea Gear, Springboks Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jano Vermak and Samoans Iosefa Tekori and Census Johnston as well as French internationals Vincent Clerc, Clement Poitrenaud and Thierry Dusautoir.
Racing Metro will feature their own complement of international stars such as Ireland's Jonathan Sexton, Welshmen Jamie Roberts and Dan Lydiate, Argentine fullback Juan Martin Hernandez, Springbok Juandre Kruger and French internationals Dimitri Szarzewski and Benjamin Fall.