Hosting big names like New Zealand and South Africa in Newcastle during the Rugby World Cup in 2015 will be a great boost for local clubs, according to Paul Varley, who is Chief Executive of Newcastle Falcons and also a coach at Northern RFC in Gosforth.
"It is going to be such a great festival of rugby. And it is still two and a half years away as well, which means grassroots clubs have got time to plan.
"It is a great opportunity for all the kids to get involved, and really drive participation in the sport, absolutely."
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
A new medical robot is transforming lung cancer surgery in the North East.
Official figures say 47,427 supporters attended Newcastle's defeat to Spurs, but does that reflect the success of the boycott?