Crusaders consider Melbourne Base



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The Crusaders are rumoured to be considering playing home Super 14 rugby games in Melbourne after the success of the recent pre-season trial at Olympic Park.  Despite a rainy day and no competition points on offer, a crowd of more than 11,500 turned out to watch the pre-season trial against Australian newcomers the Western Force, which the Crusaders won 36-19.

The Crusaders have announced they plan to base themselves in Melbourne before Australian games to fill the gap in the market left when the ARU awarded the new Australian franchise to Perth.

Coach Robbie Deans says the huge support means the defending Super 12 champions could play competition games there.

Crusaders head coach Robbie Deans said the franchise intended to make the match with the Perth-based franchise a permanent fixture in the virtually untapped rugby market of Melbourne.

“For us this is an opportunity to establish our brand in a completely new market.”

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