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The Crusaders, Christchurch's Investec Super Rugby side, will take on the Natal Sharks of South Africa at Twickenham on March 27, KO 4pm, in the first ever Super 15 match to be played outside Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.
The match will be the centre piece of a major weekend of fundraising by the Red Cross Earthquake appeal, with five pounds from every ticket sold going to the charity. Tickets are avialable now at the Ticketmaster website and are priced at £50, £40 and £30. Tickets for under 16s will be half price in all areas.
Since last month’s earthquake damaged the Crusaders’ AMI stadium the side, led by All Blacks captain Richie McCaw, have been forced to play their home games at Trafalgar Park in Nelson. However, after initial concerns over transport and policing were overcome by moving the fixture, an RFU spokesman today confirmed that Twickenham stadium will host the match.
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“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,” he said.
“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.”
Investec Super Rugby is the Southern Hemisphere’s premier club competition and features the five top teams from each of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Sharks currently top the table with the likes of Jannie du Plessis, Willem Alberts and Bismark du Plessis; while the Crusaders will be bringing a squad full of All Black talent including Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams.
Investec, the specialist bank and asset manager, sponsor the Super Rugby competition in New Zealand as well as the England Autumn Internationals at Twickenham.
Looking forward to the prospect of playing at Twickenham again Carter, who took part in last season's Investec Internationals at the ground, said: "This is our chance to give something back to our close knit community which has been horribly impacted by recent events. We hope we can make a small difference.
"We are really looking forward to playing this match at Twickenham. It is a wonderful stadium and those of us that have played here before always enjoy it. It will be unique experience to play out of the home dressing room in what is a must win game for us in this regular season Investec Super Rugby match. We hope the rugby fans come out to support the teams and the Canterbury province."