Rugby fans will be able to get up close to the prestigious Heineken Champions Cup and European Rugby Challenge Cup trophies as they embark on a tour of the region before the Newcastle 2019 Finals in May. Community groups, businesses, rugby clubs and schools will all be part of the Trophies Tour. The three-week program will cover 59 separate events and will take place from Saturday 23 March until Sunday 14 April. Emergency Service As part of the tour, the trophies will be at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) Headquarters in Barmston Mere on Monday 8 April from 10 am until 12 pm. We’re thrilled and honored to be part of the European rugby trophies tour" Chris Lowther Chief Fire Officer for TWFRS said: “We’re thrilled and honored to be part of the European rugby trophies tour as we are the only emergency service to play host. We’d encourage rugby fans to join us at our Service Headquarters to see these prestigious trophies before the finals in May. This is a great way to kick-start our 45th birthday celebrations and our Sports and Welfare Club are planning lots of sporting activities to celebrate throughout the year.” Welcoming Sports Fans Taking place over the weekend of 10-11 May 2019, Newcastle is hosting the Greatest Weekend in Rugby. It kicks off at St James’ Park with the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final on Friday 10 May (kick off 19.45) followed by the Heineken Champions Cup Final on Saturday 11 May (kick off 17.00). Mick Mangan Chair of TWFRS Sports and Welfare Club said: “I’m immensely proud that we will welcome the sport of rugby’s coveted trophies into our organization. We appreciate this opportunity to showcase this event as a starting point for the Sports and Welfare Club’s 45th anniversary and could not think of a better spring board for the future events in 2019/20. We welcome sports fans to come and enjoy this opportunity with us.” Selfie With The Trophies During the Trophies Tour fans will have the chance to win tickets to the Challenge Cup Final on Friday 10 May by getting the best selfie with the trophies and sharing them on social media (Twitter and Facebook) with the hashtag #Newcastle2019TrophiesTour. We are looking to engage with a wide range of communities and the Trophies Tour is a crucial part of this" Mick Hogan, Newcastle 2019 event director, said: “In the build-up to, and during the Newcastle 2019 Finals, we are looking to engage with a wide range of communities in the region and the Trophies Tour is a crucial part of this. As well as the rugby community, we want to attract new people to the sport and build excitement for what promises to be the greatest weekend in rugby.” Generating Tremendous Interest “Both the Heineken Champions Cup and the European Rugby Challenge Cup trophies are very prestigious and impressive. We’re sure they will generate tremendous interest and will draw in large crowds to see the two trophies. As well as drumming up excitement for the Newcastle 2019 Finals, we want to showcase our wonderful region to fans from all over the world.” Newcastle 2019 is the fastest-selling Heineken Champions Cup final ever, with fans waiting for news of a further, limited release of tickets on general public sale as allocations for fans of finalist clubs are being re-assessed throughout the season. Tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final are also showing healthy sales and it is on course to be one of the most attended finals ever.