Fans keen for rugby action

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 02/02/2013
Crusaders pre-season
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

BIG GUNS: South Canterbury Rugby Union rugby manager, Cam Kilgour, adds the finishing touches to the Alpine Energy Stadium scoreboard before the Crusaders and Hurricanes do battle in their first Super Rugby pre-season game.

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The Crusaders still have plenty of pulling power in the pre-season.

Their clash against the Hurricanes today in Timaru is proving popular with the public, with the grandstands at Alpine Energy Stadium sold out.

A large walkup crowd is also expected so South Canterbury rugby manager, Cam Kilgour, is warning people not to leave their run late.

The union offices will also be open today from 10am till midday to allow pre-purchase of tickets to avoid delays at the gate.

Kilgour said the popular Crusaders' horses will appear at 2.50pm, 10 minutes before kick-off.

The game has been divided into four quarters to allow coaches Todd Blackadder and Mark Hammett to give their squads plenty of time to interchange in their first competitive outing of the season.

There will also be a chance for autograph hunters after the game to get their favourite players, with a signing scheduled that will include both side's All Blacks, who will be present, but no playing.

South Canterbury centre Steve Burt has been included on the extended bench for the Crusaders and could well see some game time. Either way it is a great experience for the 21-year-old.

Kilgour said he expected at least 5000 people at the game, with embankment ticket sales also strong.

"The corporates have also sold out which is really positive and there was a steady stream of people buying tickets early today [Friday]."

Though the rugby was the key, the union was adding some colour to the proceedings with a halftime "undie run", which is open to both sexes.

Kilgour said there were some good prizes and it should be a laugh.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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