Crusaders' Twickenham hopes still alive - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crusaders' Twickenham hopes still alive

15/03/2011 01:18:44 PM Comments (0)

The Crusaders' earthquake-disrupted Super Rugby campaign could still benefit from a sixth-round match against the Sharks at Twickenham in London.

The Christchurch franchise last week asked the English Rugby Football Union (RFU) if they could host the March 26 fixture as their own ground was unusable due to damage sustained in last month's 6.3-magnitude earthquake.

Despite their willingness to help, the RFU turned down the request as Harlequins are using the 80,000 capacity ground that day.

However, Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said on Tuesday the game could be switched to March 27.

"We haven't quite got it there, but we're very close to knowing whether we're there or not," he told Radio Sport.

"Now we've just got some logistical issues to sort out around the Sharks team after the game. If we can solve those, then we may well be in business."

Riach said the timing of the kick-off, and getting the Sharks out of England after the game, were the major sticking points.

The Sharks had been "really supportive" of the proposal, he said, and were keen to do something to help Christchurch and the Crusaders after the devastating earthquake of February 22.

If the Twickenham proposal fell through, the match would be held in Timaru on March 26.

Since the earthquake, the Crusaders have played two Super 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.

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