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RFU consider Crusaders visit

The Rugby Football Union are open to the idea of staging a Crusaders Super Rugby match at Twickenham but they have not yet received an official approach.

The Christchurch-based franchise are considering London as a potential venue for a home match following the recent earthquake in the city.

Crusaders chief executive Hamish Riach has said that London, which boasts strong ex-pat communities from New Zealand, South Africa and Australia, was "certainly an option".

The Crusaders hope to hear by the end of this week whether AMI Stadium, which is currently closed until March 15, will be able to stage any Super Rugby this season.

Last weekend's victory over the NSW Waratahs was held at Trafalgar Park in Nelson but the Crusaders cannot afford to stage every home game at such small venues.

While the RFU would be interested should the Crusaders look to explore the idea further, the logistical hurdles could prove difficult to overcome.

It would make most sense for the Crusaders to plan any London fixture immediately after one of their two blank weekends, at the start of April and the start of June.

The RFU would want enough time to be able to market the game and sell tickets, suggesting April would be too soon even if the fixture was confirmed on Tuesday.

Twickenham currently have plans to re-lay the pitch in June ahead of England's World Cup warm-up Test against Wales in August.

But an RFU spokesman said: "We are open to the idea but we have not yet been approached."

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