Darlington to host Sevens leg after Newcastle 3G pitch delay

Darlington Arena
Darlington Mowden Park's home has staged England Counties rugby

Darlington Arena will host the fourth leg of the Premiership Rugby Sevens on 2 August, as Newcastle's 3G pitch at Kingston Park will not be ready.

The Arena, currently owned by Darlington Mowden Park, has already staged an England Counties fixture.

Falcons opted to install an artificial surface at their stadium this summer, replacing the grass pitch.

"The build process with our new 3G pitch has slipped slightly," Falcons managing director Mick Hogan said.

"Over the weekend, it has become clear that its completion could not be guaranteed by the second of August.

"Rather than hurry the process that could result in shortcuts on the installation, we had no hesitation in proposing to Premiership Rugby that the event be moved to Darlington."

Hosts Newcastle Falcons, Leicester Tigers, Sale Sharks and London Welsh are the teams scheduled to play, with the final taking place at Twickenham Stoop on 8 August.

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