- England to support Canterbury Earthquake Relief Charitable Trust
- Signed jerseys also to be auctioned to raise money after Crusaders game
Photo: Getty Images
England will be supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch by wearing the Canterbury Rugby Earthquake Relief Charitable Trust logo on their playing shirts for tomorrow’s match against the Crusaders.
The city was hit by a devastating earthquake in February 2011 which resulted in the tragic loss of 185 lives and broad damage to infrastructure in much of the centre and eastern suburbs.
To directly raise some money for the appeal England will donate 10 specially embroidered shirts signed by the squad to be auctioned off in aid of the Trust.
After coaching kids at Ponsonby Rugby Club in Auckland and visits to King’s School and a children’s hospital in Dunedin, engaging with the community has been a feature of England’s tour.
Speaking about the continuation of that in Christchurch, tour captain Chris Robshaw said: “We wanted to do something as a squad to support the region and its rugby after all it has been through. There is a lot of hard work going into the rebuilding of the city and this is just a small gesture as a thank you for hosting us.”
Photo: Getty Images
Lock Ed Slater will lead an experienced side containing 12 players with Test experience at the AMI Stadium tomorrow, kick-off 8:35am BST, live on Sky Sports.
England were due to play matches in Christchurch at Rugby World Cup 2011 but were forced to change their plans due the aftermath of the earthquake. Todd Blackadder, Head Coach of the Crusaders, said the city is relishing a second chance to welcome the team.
“This game will be a special occasion for both teams and for the Christchurch public who were gutted to miss out on hosting England during the 2011 Rugby World Cup because of the earthquakes,” said Blackadder, who will be presenting a framed Crusaders jersey to England.
“We are immensely grateful to the England team and the RFU for including this Crusaders game on their itinerary. There is already a natural affinity between Christchurch and England but the support we have received from the RFU since the earthquakes has definitely strengthened that bond.”
Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach added: “This is yet another show of generosity to our city from the RFU. In 2011 they allowed us to host a Super Rugby game at Twickenham at very short notice and helped to raise a significant amount of money for the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Fund.
“We are thrilled to now have the England team in Christchurch and the kind donation of jerseys to the Canterbury Rugby Earthquake Relief Charitable Trust will be of huge benefit to rugby in this region.”