Crusaders to tackle England
Cape Town - The Crusaders will play a midweek match against England when the Six Nations team tour New Zealand in June this year.
According to the Crusaders’ official website
, the game will take place in Christchurch on Tuesday, June 17.
The English will be in New Zealand for a three-Test series against the All Blacks and will stop in Christchurch between the Dunedin and Hamilton Tests to play the Crusaders fixture.
Crusaders CEO, Hamish Riach, said it will be a special occasion for both teams and for the Christchurch public, who missed out on hosting England during the 2011 Rugby World Cup because of the earthquakes.
"There is a natural affinity between Christchurch and England because of our shared heritage. Local rugby fans were gutted when the earthquakes took away our opportunity to host the team here during the Rugby World Cup, so I am sure that they will be really looking forward to having England here. This is also a great opportunity for the Crusaders to pit themselves against an international team, and I have no doubt that it will be a highly entertaining match," said Riach.
Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder said that with England being the No 4-ranked team in the world, this will be a unique and useful preparation for the team as well as being an awesome spectacle for fans.
"This game means that pretty much all of our players, whether named in the All Blacks or the Crusaders side to play England, will be preparing for an international game during the June break in the Super Rugby season.
“This is a brilliant opportunity for all of our players to step their game up a level and show that they can foot it with an international side. England are next year's Rugby World Cup hosts so will no doubt be looking to make an impact while they are here, but the Crusaders will also be approaching the match with the belief and determination that they can win."
Blackadder said it is also fantastic for Crusaders fans to get this bonus home game in 2014.
We look forward to welcoming the English team to our castle at AMI Stadium and to showing them a typically passionate and boisterous Crusaders crowd," concluded Blackadder.