ENGLAND legend Jason Robinson will be the special guest when Keighley Rugby Union Club's new artificial grass pitch is officially opened in December - and in a surprise development, the Rose Cottage side are set for their first game on it against North Ribblesdale on Saturday.

After the new facility successfully underwent tests this week, it was thought that the first opportunity to stage a Yorkshire One clash would be on Saturday, November 4 for the visit of York.

It was initially understood by the club that their authorisation to stage competitive rugby would take up to a fortnight to come through.

But Keighley have announced on their website this afternoon that they have now received their certification, which allows them to play on the artificial grass pitch (AGP) against their Settle neighbours this weekend.

Chairman Sam Griffin admits the players are champing at the bit to try out the £750,000 facility which is being funded by the RFU as part of the Rugby World Cup 2015 legacy.

He said: "They've been to play on Preston Grasshoppers' artificial pitch and they enjoyed playing on it. If you close your eyes you wouldn’t know you were not on grass."

Saturday's clash against North Ribb had been the original official opening date for the pitch but adverse weather has meant a delay in completing it.

World Cup winner Robinson will be the star attraction when the facility is formerly opened as Keighley host Selby in Yorkshire One on December 16.

He will be present for a question-and-answer session and other games are planned ahead of the first-team showpiece.

Keighley are bidding for a much-needed win this weekend over a North Ribblesdale side who have lost all six of their league games.

News that the AGP is ready will relieve the pressure on the second-team pitch, which has become muddy due to wet weather and more frequent use.