Magic Weekend: Liverpool's Anfield to stage rugby league event in 2019

Anfield Stadium
Anfield Stadium hosted England's second Test against New Zealand and the Four Nations final in 2016

Liverpool's Anfield will host Super League's Magic Weekend in 2019, ending a four-year stay at Newcastle United's St James' Park.

The event takes an entire round of regular-season competitive fixtures featuring all six games 'on the road' to a neutral venue.

Anfield hosted England's second Test against New Zealand in the 2018 series and the 2016 Four Nations final.

All 12 teams will head to Merseyside over the weekend of 25-26 May.

"Anfield and Liverpool have embraced our sport," said Super League chief executive Robert Elstone.

"Throughout all our discussions on the Magic Weekend, they made it very clear to us that they wanted that relationship to continue. The game should be proud that Anfield has become a rugby league venue."

Magic Weekend 2019 fixtures (all times BST)
Saturday, 25 MaySunday, 26 May
14:00 - Wakefield Trinity v Catalans Dragons13:00 - Salford Red Devils v Hull Kingston Rovers
16:30 - Hull FC v Huddersfield Giants15:30 - Leeds Rhinos v London Broncos
19:00 - Wigan Warriors v Warrington Wolves18:00 - St Helens v Castleford Tigers

In the four years at St James' Park, the venue set the record for the three highest cumulative attendances and the highest single day attendance of 40,871.

St James' Park is hosting rugby union's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup finals in a double-header in 2019, but there is no clash on dates.

The Rugby Football League introduced the concept for the 2007 campaign, when the game was taken to Cardiff's Principality Stadium - then known as the Millennium Stadium - for 'Millennium Magic'.

Edinburgh's Murrayfield Stadium and Manchester City's Etihad Stadium have also staged the event, with the four-year stay at St James' the longest continuous period.

'It's an unbelievable stadium'

For several Super League clubs, the switch to Anfield will represent a much shorter trip.

Warrington, for example, will only need to travel 19 miles to Anfield, compared with a 160-mile journey to Newcastle.

Wolves head coach Steve Price told BBC Radio Merseyside: "It's an iconic stadium with a great history. Hopefully we can all put on a good spectacle.

"A lot of our supporters are in that network of Liverpool and it's not as far to travel to.

"Newcastle's put on a really good show for a number of years and I couldn't fault the experience we had last year playing Wigan.

"Saying that, going to Anfield - it's an unbelievable stadium and I've watched Liverpool there a number of times - it's going to be really good for the game."

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