Young rugby players will experience their first taste of stadium stardom when they get the chance to run out at a local arena.

The Under-11s from Barnard Castle Preparatory School will play in a pre-season tournament at The Northern Echo Arena, in Darlington, home of Darlington Mowden Park RFC, on Friday.

Later the U13s squad will play, followed by Barnard Castle School’s 1st XV, who kick off at 6.45pm.

The school is hosting the season openers, welcoming teams from Aysgarth School and Cundall Manor, from North Yorkshire, in shortened U11s and U13s matches, and Dame Allan’s School, Newcastle, for the U13s and 1st XV.

Director of sport at Barnard Castle School Martin Pepper said: “It promises to be a great evening of rugby. For many of the boys it will be their first chance to play at the arena and they’re really looking forward to it. We hope lots of fans will come along to support them.

A number of Barnard Castle School pupils have played for Mowden Park RFC and teachers have coached at the club.

The first U11s match kicks off at 4pm. Tickets are £2 for adults, under-16s are free. Boxes with a buffet for 10 people are £200 or £100 without food.

Anyone interested in booking a box for the evening should contact Laura Iceton at the club on 01325 350267.