Crusaders remain homeless
August 9, 2011
Crusaders' fans will have to rack up the air miles again in the forthcoming Super Rugby season © Getty Images
The Crusaders look set to be on the road again in 2012 after the Christchurch City Council recommended that part of the AMI Stadium should be demolished.
The news comes in the aftermath of February's catastrophic earthquake in Christchurch. The stadium was due to host seven games during the forthcoming World Cup but the organisers had to re-think their plans following the disaster. And now the Council has recommended that the Hadley Stand should be demolished and work needs to be done to 're-level' the Tui Stand.
Both stands have dropped by 300-400mm following the earthquake with further damage done to the infrastructure of the Paul Kelly stand and the Deans Stand. While the council are looking into possible ways to re-address the balance within the stadium, councillor Sue Wells said that the level of repair needed was on a scale never undertaken in New Zealand.
"Engineers are working now to determine the best method of repair and to establish the costs involved," she said. "In the meantime the Council is still working with the Canterbury Rugby Football Union on finding an alternative home for rugby in Christchurch. At this stage we can confirm that the stadium will not be available for the 2012 season and we will continue working with everyone involved."
The Crusaders were in nomadic form this year playing all of their home games away from their Christchuch base. As well as playing in nearby Nelson and Timaru they also took the franchise to Napier, Wellington and to London. Despite racking up nearly 100,000km in travel - the Crusaders nearly completed a remarkable season winning the 2011 Super Rugby final but were eventually undone by the Reds.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Like the Treaty of Versailles, despite all the promises, the new Participation Agreement is certainly not the final solution." John Taylor writes
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league