Kingston Park will host Russian opposition for the first time this Sunday as the players from Enisei STM make the long trip from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.
Joining the competition for the first time, Enisei secured their place with a qualification playoff win against Romanian side CSM Baia Mare 63 – 32 on aggregate over the summer. Kicking off their tournament at home against Connacht last weekend, in temperatures as low as – 27 degrees Celsius, the tropical climbs of November in Newcastle now await with excitement building ahead of Sunday’s 3pm kick off.
Ahead of what will be a first ever meeting between the two sides, Director of Rugby Dean Richards has predicted Enisei will provide a good standard of opposition.
“I’ve watched a bit of Russian rugby over the years and they play some really good rugby. They have some good players in their side and they are students of the game and have a passion and a love for the sport.”
“They beat Calvisano to get to where they have got in terms of qualifying for the European competition and I am sure they will be a difficult team to crack.”
Seizing on the chance to be part of cross border competition, Enisei put in a spirited performance against Connacht last week and Richards thinks their inclusion can only serve to enhance the competition.
“It’s what it’s all about. If you play the same teams week in week out it becomes pretty boring. To open the doors to going to places like Russia and Romania is fascinating. You play against different people who have different playing styles but you also come across different cultures as well.”
For the full interview with Dean about this weekend’s opponents, click here
Tickets for the match are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s in all areas of the stadium and can be booked by clicking here calling 0871 2266060 or visiting the Kingston Park Box Office.