London set to host Crusaders-Sharks Super Rugby clash

The Canterbury Crusaders are hoping to host the Sharks of South Africa in London later this month in what would be Super Rugby’s first match outside the southern hemisphere, local media reports said on Tuesday.

The proposed March 27 match at Twickenham, the home of English rugby, plans to raise money for the victims of a devastating 6,3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch last month, killing at least 166 people, flattening much of the city and forcing the Crusaders out of their home ground.

The Crusaders, who have been playing home matches in Nelson, were unable to confirm the report when asked by Reuters, but Peter Thomas — a spokesperson for England’s Rugby Football Union — told NZ Radio on Tuesday that the match was on.

“We’ve worked hard with all of our stakeholders, transport police, security, other members of the rugby family in England and luckily it’s all dropped into place. It means we’re able to get going on the 27th,” Thomas said.

“[The logistics] are going to be challenging with less than two weeks. The British Red Cross is going to give it a big push and obviously £5 from every ticket will go to the appeal, so hopefully that will bring out all the Kiwis and South Africans in London to come to Twickenham.”

The Crusaders are Super Rugby’s most successful side having won seven titles, while the Sharks are top of the standings having won all four of their matches so far this season. — Reuters

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