Expansionist Blog: Nou Camp rugby league show a present for Catalonia

Drew Darbyshire

Catalans captain Remi Casty would love to play at the Nou Camp again next year, but knows it will be a difficult objective to fulfil. 

The Dragons beat Wigan 33-16 at the Nou Camp two weeks ago in front of a record Super League crowd of 31,555.

The previous record for a Super League regular season game was 25,004 – a record set by Wigan-St Helens at the DW Stadium in a traditional Good Friday derby back in 2005.

On the historic Nou Camp match, Casty commented: “It was like our Challenge Cup final for the fans.

“It was a lot of money for them to go to Wembley last year, so the Nou Camp experience was like a present for them.

“We were pleased to give the fans the victory at the end of the game. We want to finish in the top five and reach the play-offs at the end of the season, so it was an important two points for us but it was for the fans as well.

“To say we played at the home of FC Barcelona is just unbelievable. I would like to play here again but I know it would be hard to get another game at the Nou Camp.”

Catalans are currently third in the Super League table, having won 10 out of 16 games so far in 2019.

Casty is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as the race for the top five hots up, but emphasised just how big of a deal it was for the Dragons to play at the Nou Camp.

The ex-France international added: “It is a long way to Old Trafford so we need to aim for consistency.

“It was the same preparation to a normal game but we could feel that every player was getting more and more excited as the build-up went on. It might be the last time we played in a stadium like that so I just told the boys to enjoy it.

“Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and we are very proud to play in front of a lot of Catalonian people.

“It’s great for Super League, rugby league in France and the people of Catalonia.”

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