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New Zealand Rugby
Canterbury to benefit from NZRU grant
ESPNscrum Staff
May 10, 2011
Water pours from a broken water main outside the AMI Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, February 26, 2011
Damage to AMI Stadium has caused financial problems for Canterbury rugby © Getty Images
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Canterbury rugby's finances will be bolstered by a 'special grant' from the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) in the wake of February's earthquake.

The amount of the grant is yet to be determined but it is significant enough to be recorded as a future liability on the NZRU's balance sheet. The Press newspaper reported that it could top NZ$1million.

The Crusaders and Canterbury were hit hard in the pocket after AMI Stadium was closed following the earthquake, with the Crusaders forced to play the majority of their home matches at smaller, less profitable, venues.

"The money will be a grant rather than a loan," Canterbury Rugby Football Union chief executive Hamish Riach said. "While a loan would be helpful in a short-term sense, a grant gives us more security.

"To have this funding package means the future of rugby in Canterbury at all levels is more secure."

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said it was important that they continue to support Canterbury, which is 'strategically important' to New Zealand rugby, across all levels.

Rugby Park, in suburban Christchurch, is set to be confirmed as Canterbury's home venue during this year's NPC, with the smaller ground putting more financial strain on the union

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