Wellington - The Pacific islands may yet get a taste of Super Rugby with the Crusaders considering shifting their home match against the Wellington Hurricanes to Fiji next year.
The Fiji Village website reported that planning was underway for the seven times Super rugby champions to play the Hurricanes in Suva after a sponsor came forward to underwrite the move.
A Crusaders spokesperson could not confirm the switch on Thursday, saying there were a number of options under consideration with their usual second-choice home venues of Nelson and Timaru also in the mix.
"It's too soon to comment on what may go ahead," she said.
The Crusaders are unable to use their regular home ground in Christchurch for the May 29 fixture because the date clashes with FIFA under-20 World Cup requirements at the same stadium.
Pacific island nations have been seeking a taste of Super rugby for many years.
However, their hopes this year that a Singapore-based side drawing on Pacific islands talent would be included in the southern hemisphere club competition were dashed when the vacant berth was awarded to a team from Japan.
The Crusaders have established a reputation for taking home matches out of their catchment area, even organising to play the Coastal Sharks at Twickenham following the 2011 devastating earthquakes in Christchurch.
They also have current close ties to Fiji with blockbusting Fijian wing Nemani Nadolo a key member of their side.
Nadolo, the equal top try-scorer with the Waratahs' Israel Folau in the Super rugby competition this year, was Wednesday named as one of three finalists for New Zealand's Super player of the year award.