An announcement will be made soon as to whether Newcastle will host the Rugby World Cup 2015.
St James' Park has been shortlisted as a venue for 3 matches.
Newcastle City Council says it would provide a huge boost for the region.
The decision follows the city's role in the London 2012 Games when Olympic football matches were played at the stadium.
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White Rose flags and crowds half a dozen deep met the riders as they swept through the towns and villages of North Yorkshire.
The Black Cats boss has spoken to the media following his side's one nil defeat to Bournemouth which relegated them from the Premier League.
The Black Cats will play next season in the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League.