Wellington - The Crusaders have rejected taking their Super Rugby match against the Hurricanes to Fiji and confirmed on Wednesday they will instead play in New Zealand.
Pacific island nations have been pressing for a taste of Super rugby for several years but Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach said the May 29 game will be played in Nelson, which is in the Crusaders catchment area.
Reports from Fiji two months ago said an undisclosed backer had been found to underwrite moving the game to the Pacific because the Crusaders home venue at AMI stadium is being used for a FIFA Under-20 World Cup game.
However, the players were opposed to the idea saying the additional travel could compromise their hopes for an eighth Super Rugby title as it was their only designated home game in the last month of the regular season.
"The travel does take it out of you," All Blacks and Crusaders flyhalf Dan Carter said.
"Playing in Fiji does provide its challenges, especially at such a critical stage of the season... when it is a pretty important game we want to win."
Riach said Nelson had always been on the radar and it was confirmed at a board meeting on Wednesday.
"While there were a number of compelling aspects to that (Fiji) option, on balance and taking into account a wide range of pros and cons for each venue, we are really happy to confirm that the game will be played at Trafalgar Park in Nelson," he said.
The Crusaders have established a reputation for taking home matches out of their catchment area, even playing the Sharks at Twickenham following the 2011 devastating earthquakes in Christchurch.