The Crusaders have abandoned plans to host a Super Rugby match in Fiji and have opted instead to move their “home” fixture to Nelson.
The seven-time champions are unable to hold the Super Rugby derby, against the Hurricanes on 29 May, at their home venue of AMI Stadium in Christchurch because it is being used for a Fifa U20 World Cup game.
Crusaders officials looked in to the possibility of playing the game at Suva’s National Stadium but the Christchurch-based franchise’s chief executive Hamish Riach said Nelson had always been one of the options under consideration and was confirmed as the venue for the game on Wednesday.
“We are all pleased that after a long and thorough process, including discussions with our players and coaches, and representatives of the relevant venues, a decision has now been reached and we are excited to be taking this game to Nelson,” explained Riach.
“We have played in Nelson a number of times before and our supporters from the uppermost part of the Crusaders catchment area are always most welcoming.
“We know it will be a fantastic occasion and it is great to be able to now get on with preparing for that match and making it something special for our fans.
“As has been previously reported, Suva was another venue we considered for this game.
“While there were a number of compelling aspects to that 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.”