Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton believes that the sport has found its perfect Magic Weekend venue in Newcastle and St James’ Park.
Although unavailable due to injury, Shenton will head to Newcastle with the Castleford squad this weekend as they look to continue their upturn in form by beating league leaders Warrington in one of the standout games of the weekend.
And he said that since the lengthy excursions to places like Cardiff and Edinburgh seem to be a thing of the past, and the sport has also moved away from a heartlands venue in Manchester, Newcastle seems to fit the criteria for a successful event on more than a few levels.
“Maybe this is the happy medium and the long-term venue here,” he said.
“This weekend will show whether it’s developed from last year but this is a good place to be – if they want us here we’d be foolish to think about going anywhere else. It ticks every box in my eyes. It’s pretty much perfect.”
The debate about Magic’s place on the calendar is one that seems to be debated every year, but like most of his counterparts who were present at the launch event this past Monday, Shenton is of the belief that it should remain for good.
“I think it’s got a place in the sport – and I think it’s evolved.
“I started really enjoying it when it was at Manchester; that stadium was fantastic and people really bought into it then. The event is about growing it and expanding it, and this has been the best non-heartland one we’ve had in Newcastle.
“There were some stunning games and some great responses from the people of the city here, and I love coming back up here.”
Make sure you pick up a copy of the upcoming edition of League Express; as well as all the fallout from Magic Weekend, there will be an exclusive update from Shenton on his recovery from the serious knee injury he suffered in the opening weekend of the season.