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By Chris Jones
BBC rugby union correspondent
Neighborhood hero Mark Wilson hopes the fans can be thrilled by England when they face Italy in St James’ Park on Friday.
It’s the first time England have played a Test match along with the first they have hosted out Twickenham in a couple of years.
Initially from Cumbria, Wilson is a”honorary Geordie” having performed over 200 occasions for Newcastle Falcons.
“North-east lovers wish to get amused,” Wilson told BBC Sport.
“That’s the major factor for them. [You believe ] back in the nineties when Newcastle football were at their finest – .
“Hopefully we can entertain them on Friday night.”
Before making his Falcons introduction in 18, wilson, 29, joined the academy as a 14-year-old of Newcastle.
After their last year, he will go to Sale on loan following the Rugby World Cup, prior to returning in time to get its 2020-2021 campaign to the Falcons.
He feels the next generation will inspire, and says English rugby must continue to encourage the game in the north of the country.
“It’s important we still get behind gaming in the northwest,” he added.
“It is mad to think [there’s a Exam in Newcastle] – when I was a kid the only means to watch England was down at Twickenham.
“So for a whole good deal of those north-east lovers they are all going to be pretty excited about seeing England in their doorstep.
“St James’ Park is a class place to play, and the atmosphere is excellent. Hopefully people will come out in their numbers and fill it.”
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