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England’s World Cup players have urged the English Rugby Football Union to take more international matches away from Twickenham. England played their final World Cup warmup match against Italy in Newcastle in September – their first home Test match away from HQ since 1997 – and the squad want to make it a regular occurrence.
More home matches at Twickenham were cited as a key reason for the RFU returning to profit in its most recent accounts published this month and in the absence of any autumn internationals this year, the union is forecasting a loss in next year’s annual report. Matches at Twickenham, which holds 82,000, can generate around £10m for the RFU whereas the fall-off for the match against Italy at St James’ Park, where the attendance was 50,157 and required a rental fee, was substantial.
England’s two home matches in the 2020 Six Nations will be held at Twickenham, as will all four of next year’s autumn internationals, but the RFU chief executive, Bill Sweeney, was open to the possibility of going on the road in 2021. Sweeney took part in a comprehensive post-World Cup review panel, chaired by the former sports minister Hugh Robertson while the former England coach Brian Ashton is also
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