Orangetheory Stadium confirmed for Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa

The Crusaders and the Christchurch Stadium Trust have confirmed Orangetheory Stadium in Christchurch as the host venue for all of the Crusaders’ home matches in 2020, when the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition officially kicks off next month. Christchurch will play host to four rounds of the New Zealand-based competition.

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Crusaders Facebook page restored after breach

At around 6pm on Friday evening, it was brought to our attention that there was some unusual activity on the Crusaders Facebook page, including a change to the name of our page from ‘Crusaders’ to ‘Crusaders Shop’. The page, and the near 400,000 fans that follow us, then completely disappeared from the Facebook platform.   

The Crusaders notified Facebook as soon as this activity occurred and, with their help, were able to track down the source of the problem and resolve the situation. The page is now completely restored and we thank the team at Facebook in Auckland, Australia and Singapore for their hard work in returning our page to our fans and followers.

While no fans’ personal data was at risk, being unable to communicate via a major platform like this was a significant issue for our commercial partners and fans. For a time, it was impossible for us to connect with our loyal Crusaders supporters. We apologise if you have not been able to reach us via Facebook over the last five days, but rest assured all of our social media platforms are running as normal and you can still connect with us now on all of them by searching our handles below:

Facebook - @crusadersrugby
Instagram - @crusadersrugbyteam
Twitter - @crusadersrugby
YouTube - CrusadersSuperRugby​
Tiktok - @crusadersrugby

Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa ready to kick off in June

Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa will kick off next month following today’s announcement that the country will move to COVID-19 alert level two on Thursday.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed that the domestic form of Super Rugby involving the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – known as Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa – will start on Saturday 13 June, allowing players four weeks to adequately prepare with contact training.

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Crusaders welcome Government announcement on Investec Super Rugby's return

The Crusaders have welcomed the Government’s announcement today that professional rugby and netball will resume at COVID-19 alert level two.

Earlier, NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said: “For our fans, our players and everyone involved in Investec Super Rugby, we are thrilled that the Sports Minister has given the green light for professional sport to resume at level two.

“Both netball and rugby have been working closely with Government agencies on what training and playing at level two could look like, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.

“As soon as the country announces what date we move to alert level two, we will be able to confirm what date Investec Super Rugby will kick off.”

Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said: “This is great news for the Crusaders and for Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand. Today’s announcement is a positive step towards having our team out on the paddock in the near future, and we’ll continue to work closely with New Zealand Rugby and the Government on exactly what a return to training will look like for teams at Alert Level 2.”

Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa involves New Zealand’s five teams - the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – and has been developed by NZR in conjunction with SANZAAR, the Super Rugby clubs and the NZ Rugby Players’ Association (NZRPA).

The five teams will play each other home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend. All matches will be played in closed stadiums.

Robinson said the players would need three to four weeks to adequately prepare with contact training before matches could commence.

“We’re delighted for our fans that in a best-case scenario we will have top-quality rugby back on our screens next month.  I know the players would prefer to be playing in front of our fans, but the health and safety of Kiwis must come first.”

Robinson stressed that the health and safety of everyone involved was our number one priority. 

“While we want to see our game up and running as soon as possible, we won’t make decisions that will put anyone at risk. We have always said we will take the Government’s lead on when it is safe to return.”

Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson added: “It’s exciting to start to prepare for a return to play. The squad is really looking forward to getting back out on the rugby field, but it’s going to be important we get our detail right over the coming weeks - ensuring we have clarity on health and safety guidelines which is of paramount importance for all New Zealanders, and preparing the team both physically and mentally for what is a reshaped competition.”

A working group made up of players, Investec Super Rugby clubs, Provincial Unions, the NZRPA and NZR had considered all the possible competition options and timings which were dependent on when alert levels dropped and rugby could resume.

Robinson said they were still working through the details of the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup competitions, but they wanted to preserve the integrity of these competitions where they could. A decision on the All Blacks Steinlager Series in July against Wales and Scotland will be made in the next fortnight.

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said Super Rugby fans in New Zealand and across the globe would be excited that we may, in the near future, be able to restart rugby.

“We have known for some time that once the green light is given to recommence playing [in any of our territories] that a revised Super Rugby competition format would have to be implemented.  This will mean a strong domestic focus in each territory given the travel, border and Government restrictions that we will have to adhere to." 

"Given today’s announcement by the New Zealand Government, SANZAAR will now in conjunction with NZR move to the implementation of the revised Super Rugby format that has been agreed upon by all SANZAAR partners and stakeholders. We will work with NZR around the possible start date that satisfies Government requirements." 

 Click here for further information about Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa. 

 

Crusaders Media Statement

The Crusaders are aware of some of our players training at Malvern Park In Christchurch today.

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