Sharks v Crusaders in London?

2011-03-09 11:03

Gavin Rich - SuperSport

Durban - The Sharks will decide after their Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Rebels in Melbourne on Friday whether they will agree to a Crusaders request to play their final tour match in London.

The Sharks have confirmed that Crusaders have asked for their game, originally scheduled for the AMI Stadium in Christchurch for Friday, March 25, to be played at Twickenham, where the cash strapped Crusaders believe they can draw a massive crowd that would make up for some of the money they are losing by playing most of their Super Rugby matches at smaller venues such as Trafalgar Park in Nelson.

The Crusaders home matches in the competition were transferred away from Christchurch after the stadium was deemed unsafe following the devastating earth-quake that hit the city on February 22. The Sharks game comes before their bye week, which is why they are looking to have the match played off-shore then as it would minimise impact on the rest of their programme.

The Crusaders are hoping that New Zealand and South African expats will pack out Twickenham in what would be the first Super Rugby match to be played out of the countries represented by the three SANZAR partners - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Sharks chief executive Brian van Zyl has told a Durban newspaper, The Mercury, that the team has been weighing up the invitation for a couple of days and that a decision would be made after the Rebels game.

“It is a decision that will be based on rugby considerations,” said Van Zyl.

In other words, the Sharks management and players are weighing up how a change of venue would impact on their campaign. The downside for the Sharks would obviously be the more than 24 hour flight that they would have to undertake from their previous match against the Chiefs in Hamilton to a completely different hemisphere and part of the world. However the Crusaders would have to undertake the same flight and would have to do it a day later as their match for the weekend before the Sharks clash is on a Saturday, whereas the Sharks play on a Friday.

So both teams would probably find themselves jetlagged during the week in London, but an advantage for the Sharks would be that they would face just an 11 hour flight from London to Durban instead of the arduous Christchurch to Durban journey that they would have to undertake before the first match after their return against the Stormers.

According to Van Zyl, the two unions are in negotiations with the various stake-holders, but - and note that we are still more than three weeks away from April 1 - it does seem a real possibility that the Sharks could be finishing off their tour of Australia and New Zealand in England.


  • TheBigCoach - 2011-03-09 11:12

    Brilliant - come and showcase super rugby

      dushaas - 2011-03-09 11:30

      I agree, everbody saying that top 14 is harder than super rugby will at last witness the truth!!! YOU DO NOT GET HARDER, FASTER AND MORE COMPELLING RUGBY ON THE PLANET THAN SUPER RUGBY!!!

  • Dazza22 - 2011-03-09 11:15

    Bring it on, I'll be there!!!

  • Sheriff_24 - 2011-03-09 11:23

    Go for it!!!!!!!!!

  • Flee - 2011-03-09 11:25

    Shew a bit harsh travel wise esp for the Sharks... Hectic... But They will still take it...

      steveP - 2011-03-09 13:28

      Not as harsh as it wil be for the Saders - they will have 24 hour flight back to NZ although they do have a bye the next weekend. Sharks will only have 11 hour flight back to SA from London. This gives them a bit of an advantage over the other SA sides who will have to play the weekend after a 24 hour return flight from AUS or NZ. If the purpose was for the earthquake relief fund then ok but to help the "cashstrapped" Crusaders - not a chance in my view.

  • werner.coetzer - 2011-03-09 11:35

    I say do it! Then I can watch it at a more convenient time of the day instead of at work.

  • Ragged-Tooth - 2011-03-09 11:37

    Good idea, show the poms how real men play the game of rugga.

  • rugby_guru - 2011-03-09 11:39

    If we do that, we on level playing fields, and when we beat the Saders on a level playing field we will be knowing as the greatest rugby union the world has ever seen GOOOOOOOOOOOO SHARKS!

      Balsakhater - 2011-03-09 12:31

      Dream on - Poepol

      RJ - 2011-03-09 13:04

      You a rugby POOPOO

  • Douglas Hendry - 2011-03-09 11:59

    As a Sharks supporter who lives within commutin distance of Twickers, PLEASE COME? Els and I will be there, if we can get tickets. A wonderful idea.

      Grant - 2011-03-09 14:23

      Wonder what the tickets will cost?

      devils_advo - 2011-03-09 14:47

      £20-£40 per ticket

  • Bradley - 2011-03-09 12:14

    It's a no-brainer. The Kiwis, Aussies and Saffers (and the odd Pom) in London will be there in droves.

  • bona - 2011-03-09 12:16

    why not! great idea, tohelp the kiwis with some funds as well

  • Redwine - 2011-03-09 12:18

    Early April fools joke? Come play it in Soccer City.

      spiderkzn - 2011-03-09 12:34

      huh why sharks should host in soccer City that Sharks home is in Kings Park hmm.

  • MaLemmer - 2011-03-09 12:32

    Go for it!

  • spiderkzn - 2011-03-09 12:35

    Would be nice!!!! I think they should setup the fund support to help rebuild the Christchurch? I'm going share it to facebook.

  • Makutu - 2011-03-09 12:51

    Why show the most insignificat player there? Jogn Smit is a liability in the Sharks team.

      JanPierewiet - 2011-03-09 13:24

      Would the Crusaders have done the same for the Sharks?

      G.du Plessis - 2011-03-09 13:24

      Sharks have du Plessis bros and Beast. Great front three unit developing. Smit is passed it

      Grant - 2011-03-09 14:24

      John Smit has barely been PLAYING - how exactly is he a liability?

      Makutu - 2011-03-09 15:07

      Grant. John Smit is finished goods. His contribution to the sharks team is not that much I'm afraid. And the Boks selectors will select him on form I know. If you want to dispute that then I do not know. On Saturday I saw John Smit attempt to make a tackle, feel to the the ground. The Sharks turned over the ball a few phases after than. When Kanweoski tried to run the ball, John Smit was still at the place where he missed the tackle. Kankwoski tripped over John Smit. JOHN SMIT IS FINISHED GOODS!

  • JIP - 2011-03-09 13:28

    April the first...........Joke on everyone?

      Sharky6606 - 2011-03-09 23:09

      Hey JIP...... Catch a wake up. Us Sharkies in London would get there double quick time. As for April 1st, sadly you are wrong. I believe it is a genuine effort due to their stadium after the quake. You sound just like a Lions Supporter. Sharky6606

  • Gregory - 2011-03-09 13:43

    Is this an April 1st Fool's joke???

      Broombastic - 2011-03-09 14:54

      Dumbasses, you can't make april fools jokes in advance.

  • AJ - 2011-03-09 13:44

    Take it to Twickenham, why not. The guys over there will love it!

  • Kevin - 2011-03-09 13:45

    great Idea would be good for Rugby as a whole!!!! I say go for it!!!!!

  • - 2011-03-09 13:53

    This will be a good move for the game!

  • Rob - 2011-03-09 13:54

    Anywhere, anytime, Sharks forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • vicj - 2011-03-09 13:58

    Lot of Shark supporters in London/England. Ticket sales should be good.

  • Barrie Murphy - 2011-03-09 14:22

    Bring it on, come and show these northern hemisphere teams how to play decent rugby. Already getting ready to purchase my tickets...

  • SuperShark - 2011-03-09 14:32

    April Fool's - Taking the money out of the country or is Twickenham going to give it to them for free?

      sharkbait - 2011-03-09 15:20

      A percentage of the gate always goes to the teams... and both would benefit

  • sharkbait - 2011-03-09 14:40

    yes please!!!!

  • steve.bamber - 2011-03-09 14:42

    Please please please. I've already cleared my diary just on the off chance. 20 tickets guaranteed from the Somerset Sharks supporters.

  • SuperShark - 2011-03-09 14:54

    Please don't take this article serious, it is just a Blou bul trying to see how stupid the Sharks fans are? - 2011-03-09 16:46

      Blou Balle supporter ? How are those grapes ?

  • Pappa Smurf - 2011-03-09 17:59

    They should actually let the Stormers play there. Then all those soccer hooligans can support them. They will feel right at home. They suck by the way.

  • Deon - 2011-03-10 07:59

    They will not play there for these okes are not ready to let them play in London. The arrangement is to much for such a short time. Does not matter for The Sharks will klap them no matter where they play.

  • Boorgat - 2011-03-10 08:10

    Updated at 7:30 am today The England rugby union's rejected the possibility of the Crusaders playing their Super rugby match against the South African side the Sharks at Twickenham, in London. The Crusaders had contacted England union about playing in London as one of a several options, with AMI Stadium in Christchurch unavailabe after being damaged in the recent earthquake. The RFU says Harlequins and Gloucester are playing nearby at the Stoop and they don't have the resources to run two games on the same day. The Crusaders are playing two of their matches at Nelson's Trafalgar Park, however they've been looking for larger venues to draw a bigger gate. Auckland's Eden Park has also been suggested as an option. Copyright © 2011, Radio New Zealand

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