Crusaders confirm Twickenham date
March 15, 2011
Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams headline the Crusaders team coming to Twickenham © Getty Images
The Crusaders will play the Sharks at Twickenham in their Super Rugby Round 6 clash on March 27 after a simple change of date revived the London switch.
Looking for creative solutions to their disrupted schedule, with their home at Christchurch's AMI Stadium unavailable after the city's earthquake, the Crusaders first proposed a high-profile relocation to the home of English rugby last week.
The RFU turned down the initial approach as Harlequins were set to host Gloucester on the original March 26 date, but after the Crusaders suggested their game could be a day later, the RFU on Monday agreed to the fixture.
The British Red Cross will incorporate the match into a weekend of fundraising and £5 from every ticket will go towards the earthquake relief fund. Twickenham will be the first venue outside of the three SANZAR countries - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - to stage a Super Rugby match.
An RFU spokesperson said: "It's fantastic news that we were able to find a date that would enable us to host the game as the centrepiece of a weekend of fundraising for the people of Christchurch. Having some of the southern hemisphere's best players on display at Twickenham will be a treat for all English based fans of the Super 15.
"It is great to see the rugby family pull together for such a worthy cause and we would like to thank all our stakeholders for their flexibility and support in making this happen. We now have less than two weeks to get tickets sold so we would urge supporters to get online and buy soon."
Earlier, Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said the Sharks had been "really supportive" of the proposal, and were keen to do something to help Christchurch and the Crusaders after the devastating earthquake of February 22. Since the earthquake, the Crusaders have played two Super 15 rugby games after points were shared from their cancelled second-round match against the Hurricanes scheduled for Wellington on February 26.
They thumped the Waratahs 33-18 at their temporary home ground in Nelson on March 4, then destroyed the Brumbies 52-10 a week later at the same venue. The second-placed Crusaders travel to Dunedin for a fifth-round clash with New Zealand conference leaders the Highlanders on Saturday.
Tickets will be on sale via Ticketmaster from Tuesday afternoon and will be priced at £50, £40 and £30 with children half price.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
England must find a way to improve their game by tiny margins and they will get there, writes Phil Vickery
"England remind me of a PlayStation rugby team," John Mitchell on tactics and the search for a first-choice fly-half ahead of the World Cup
Augustine Pulu will return home with little more than 20 minutes rugby in one month on tour. It is time for more midweek games writes Craig Dowd
Samoa's Sivi Tau says the team "come completely prepared", the reality is a world away. Seilala Mapusua on Samoa and building a future