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Crusaders forced to play away again
ESPNscrum Staff
December 20, 2011
Crusaders centre Sonny Bill Williams works an opening, Crusaders v Sharks, Super Rugby Qualifier, Trafalgar Park, Nelson, New Zealand, June 25, 2011
The Crusaders had looked forward to welcoming Sonny Bill Williams back to Christchurch in their opening match of the 2012 season © Getty Images
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The Crusaders will have to play yet another Super Rugby match away from their Christchurch base following the news that their new stadium will not be ready to host their first home match of the 2012 campaign.

The Crusaders will play at Rugby League Park in Christchurch throughout the 2012 campaign and had looked to forward to welcoming the Chiefs - complete with former Crusader Sonny Bill Williams - on March 9, but it has now transpired that they will be forced to look elsewhere for a venue. It is likely that they will turn to Nelson's Trafalgar Park but a definite decision will be made in the New Year.

The Cheetahs travel to New Zealand to face the Crusaders on March 24 and that has now been earmarked as the likely match to open the Christchurch franchise's campaign back at their base. And following a year where the Crusaders lost an estimated NZ$700,000 due to being forced to play their games away after February's Christchurch earthquake, their chief executive Hamish Riach is still remaining optimistic.

Riach said: "This has been an ambitious programme from the start and we are delighted that we are getting closer to having home games in Christchurch."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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