Boro skipper Jonny Howson has hailed the Riverside Stadium as a real feather in the cap for Teesside.

Jonny was speaking at the 200-day countdown to the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup when Tonga and the Cook Islands will meet at the Riverside Stadium as part of the competition.

Recent years have seen England football internationals featuring both the men's and women's teams, and the 2019 visit of Take That is set to be followed with The Killers this summer as the Riverside continues to bring the big events to the region.

“When you look at the events that have been held at the stadium it’s a real feather in the cap for the region and the people here,” he said.

“We’ve had some great football over the past few with years with England, Take That played here a couple of years ago, we’ve got the Killers this summer, and the Rugby League World Cup later in the year.

"It shows what a fantastic stadium we have and what people want to do to bring these events to this area."

The World Cup clash brings rugby league to Teesside for the first time and while it will be a new sport to the area, Howson is more than familiar with the game, having grown up in its West Yorkshire heartland.

At the launch event, Leeds-born Howson was joined by fellow Loiner and England rugby legend Jason Robinson, and the Boro midfielder urged local fans to seize the opportunity to sample rugby league later this year.

“We follow football obviously, but rugby league does have a big following in certain areas of the north and it’s fantastic that a game is coming here,” he added.

“I’m sure people will be excited when it comes around and will support it and take the opportunity to come.  It’s gonna be great for the young kids in the area to see a world cup match of whatever sport. It’s such a big event.”

Ticket prices for the Riverside match start at £15 for concessions, with more than 80% of tickets priced below £50. Fans can purchase tickets here.

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