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England v New Zealand Celebration Match Twickenham

By Sally Price RFU Press Office
October 29 2006

When England run out onto the hallowed Twickenham turf on Sunday 5/11, they will be playing in front of a record crowd. The anticipated completion of the seating bowl as part of the development of the south stand means that 82,000 people will be able to enjoy watching England play.

England vs. New Zealand Twickenham  Celebration Match

The four-match Investec Challenge series begins on Sunday 5th November with a special celebration match against New Zealand to officially open the first phase of the development.  And with the match being staged on Guy Fawkes Night, the lucky crowd will be treated to a dazzling display in the sky, with a pyrotechnic display planned as part of the post match entertainment.

Speaking ahead of the event, Francis Baron, Chief Executive of the RFU said, "We wanted the match against New Zealand to be a celebration of the completion of the stadium bowl.  With so many extra supporters able to watch England, it is a great opportunity to start the season with a bang."
Taking part in the celebrations will be 24 England Rugby legends who will take part in a parade around the pitch at 3.00pm before kick off.  Included in the all star line up are England's most capped player Jason Leonard, alongside Rob Andrew, Bill Beaumont, Mickey Steele-Bodger and Micky Skinner. 
The official opening will be conducted by Secretary of Culture, Media and Sport, the Right Honourable Tessa Jowell MP, and the RFU's Francis Baron and President Bob Rogers.  The details will remain a secret until the day, but promise to be a fitting way to open the new stand.
After the match, supporters are encouraged to remain in their seats to enjoy the post match entertainment which includes operatic sensation G4, and chart topping girl band Girls Aloud. The entertainment will close with a spectacular 360 degree firework display.
The south stand development, which will include a Virgin Active Classic and a Marriott hotel, is not planned to be completed until late next year, but the seats which increase Twickenham's capacity are on target to be in place ready for the season opener.
Supporters are advised that there is a new gate system in place for the first match, and the number of additional spectators means everyone is advised to get to Twickenham early on the day.  Richard Knight, RFU Stadium Director, explained, "As part of the development we have introduced an improved gate and turnstile system.  We are asking people to arrive at the stadium at least 45 minutes before kick off (kick off is at 3.30pm) to ensure everyone is in their seat for the start of the match.  Everyone with seats in the south stand is hopefully aware that the roof is not due to be in place on the south stand until early next year, so please plan for extreme weather.   The shuttle buses will be in action as usual but the pick up point for Hounslow station will be at Tescos, with the others in the usual spot outside Gate 4 (on Rugby Road).  We hope everyone has an enjoyable visit to the improved stadium."
The Investec Challenge match between England and New Zealand takes place at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday 5th November at 3.30pm.

For updates on the south stand development please visit



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