Wigan Warriors to take on Catalans Dragons at Barcelona’s Camp Nou in May

The magnificent Camp Nou
The magnificent Camp Nou

Super League champions Wigan Warriors will face Catalans Dragons at Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou stadium next summer, it has been confirmed.

The Super League fixture will take place in the near 100,000-seater venue on May 18, after Barca invited the Dragons to host a game there.

In September, the Wigan Post and Observer’s Phil Wilkinson revealed that the president of Barca proposed to his Catalans counterpart, Bernard Guasch, that they welcome Wigan to the hallowed turf.

The invitation came about from the public pride in Barcelona after the Dragons won the Challenge Cup.

It resulted in a formal invitation from Barcelona FC to play at the Camp Nou and the Dragons moving their ‘home’ game 120 miles from their base in Perpignan to the city of Barcelona.

The landmark Betfred Super League fixture will be a first RL game played at the home of the five-time Champions League winners, Barcelona.

Warriors chairman Ian Lenagan has welcomed the news of his club’s involvement in what he describes will be “an historic occasion for the sport”.

Lenagan said: “This is landmark moment in Super League’s history, and we are extremely proud to play our part in making history.

“Having European rugby league’s two current title holders face each other in the iconic surroundings of the Camp Nou is a mouth-watering prospect and is one that I truly believe will be an historic occasion for the sport.

“It’s a fantastic concept that will capture the imagination of sports fans across the continent of Europe, and I believe it will provide a shot in the arm for the new-era of Super League by underlining the competition’s ambition.

“I’m sure that the Wigan fans, who are famed for their loyal support as shown when a huge army of supporters travelled to Sydney for the World Club Challenge game with Sydney Roosters in 2014 and our recent New South Wales Tour in 2018, will travel in large numbers for this game.

“We’re extremely excited and delighted with today’s news.”

Guasch, Catalans Dragons chairman added:

“The prospect of playing a game in one of the biggest stadiums in the world is exceptional and I would like to thank the Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu for giving us this opportunity.

“I hope this game is the beginning of a great story between our two clubs.”