Christchurch unlikely to be able to host Test

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Christchurch unlikely to be able to host Test Empty Christchurch unlikely to be able to host Test

Post by Redszone on Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:38 pm

LEAGUE officials are considering alternative venues for the annual trans-Tasman Test after being told yesterday that AMI Stadium in Christchurch would be unavailable for any matches until at least March 15.

NZRL chief executive Jim Doyle said Auckland and Wellington were the obvious cities to host the May 6 Test if Christchurch were unable to do so, and he expected a final decision to be made next week.

However, Doyle said it was likely that Christchurch would be awarded next year's mid-season Test between Australia and New Zealand if the game were moved.

''It's not just the state of the playing surface that we have to consider, there's quite a bit of damage to pipes so there's leaking water and sewage,'' Doyle said. ''We've also got to look at accommodation because … a lot of them will come from places other than Christchurch, and need somewhere to stay.''

The Test would have been the first time the Kangaroos played in Christchurch since 1989. Officials are keen for the Test to remain in Christchurch as a show of support for the city but a decision needs to be made quickly.

Meanwhile, a rugby league legends game organised by Kiwis great Tawera Nikau will now be a fund-raiser for victims of the Christchurch earthquake. The match was scheduled to played on May 1 in Christchurch.

''We're just trying to see if the game will go ahead now … but if we do play, the proceeds will definitely go towards the earthquake,'' Nikau said.

And after organising a legends State of Origin match to raise funds for victims of Queensland's floods, former Kangaroos forward Mark Geyer is looking into a trans-Tasman Test between former internationals for the earthquake appeal.

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