All Blacks to play Christchurch test in 2012

The All Blacks are set to play Ireland in Christchurch next season. Photo / Janna Dixon
The All Blacks are set to play Ireland in Christchurch next season. Photo / Janna Dixon

Test rugby is set to return to Christchurch next season with Rugby League Park to host a clash between the All Blacks and Ireland.

The ground will also be announced today as the new home of the Crusaders after the side's previous home AMI Stadium suffered serious damage in the February 22 earthquake.

At midday, Prime Minister John Key, NZRU boss Steve Tew and Crusaders CEO Hamish Riach will announce that Rugby League Park will be the new temporary home for the Crusaders, RadioSport reports.

The City Council gave their approval for the move last month but a question remained over funding.

Todd Blackadder's side played home matches in Nelson, Timaru, Napier, Wellington and London last season. The side are reportedly lining up another overseas clash next season - a preseason match in Singapore against the Melbourne Rebels.

After having had their World Cup matches shifted out of the city, the World Champion All Blacks are set to confirm a test match at the 18,000 seat venue against Ireland in June.

The All Blacks last played in Christchurch during the 2010 season, beating Australia 20-10 at AMI Stadium. The city has played host to the All Blacks on 48 occasions.

The NZRU will announce all the All Blacks home test matches at 6pm.

- NEWSTALK ZB/HERALD ONLINE

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