Crusaders

Razor only wants to be All Blacks head coach

Robertson is one of the front-runners to be the next All Blacks coach and has confirmed he has his job interview with New Zealand Rugby (NZR) lined up for December.

The Super Rugby title-winning coach said he only had interest in the All Blacks top job and would not consider an assistant role with the national side.

NZR reached out to 26 prospective candidates to replace outgoing coach Steve Hansen.

Fiji Airways extends Crusaders sponsorship

The partnership will see Fiji Airways feature on the front of the Crusaders’ away jerseys from 2020.

Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said this will be the first time the Crusaders has had a separate front-of-jersey sponsor for their home and away jerseys, and they are thrilled the team’s away jerseys will feature the Fiji Airways brand from 2020.

Mansbridge added the Crusaders largest fan base outside of New Zealand is in Fiji, which is unsurprising given the overwhelming support they have from local fans whenever the team has played a Super Rugby match in Suva.

Read signs off in style

Read was instrumental in helping his side produce a clinical 19-3 victory over the Jaguares in Christchurch to complete a "three-peat" and win their 10th Super Rugby title.

The 33-year-old is heading to Japanese club Toyota after the Rugby World Cup this year and he left Christchurch content with the end to his Super Rugby career that began in 2007.

"It's given me everything," Read said of what the Crusaders meant to him in a televised interview. "I love this place.

Perfect 10 for the Crusaders

The two-time defending champions have beaten the Jaguares 19-3 in the final in Christchurch, despite the Argentinian side having the greater share of possession and territory.

Crusaders hooker Codie Taylor scored the only try of the match, while first-five Richie Mo'unga kicked four penalties and a conversion.

Captain Sam Whitelock spoke of his immense pride in all of his players after being handed the trophy for the third straight season.

Crusaders have "brought the community together"

The match at Rugby League Park comes just 16 weeks after Christchurch became the site of New Zealand's worst massacre when 51 people were killed in a mass shooting at two mosques on March 15.

For a population still rebuilding after a 2011 earthquake devastated the city and killed about 190 people, the shootings were a harsh body blow and Crusaders coach Scott Robertson recognised the turmoil the community has faced in recent months.

Creevy: We respect Crusaders, but we start on an equal footing

While the Crusaders were founding members of Super 12 and will be hunting their 10th title in their 14th final on Saturday, the Argentine side blew in only four years ago in the otherwise ill-fated expansion to 18 teams.

They have, however, seized their opportunity with both hands, stacking the team with internationals and creating the one major success story of the game's desire to raise standards in non-traditional rugby markets.

Crusaders and All Blacks lose Crotty and Barrett

And the All Blacks duo are also in line to miss the Rugby Championship that follows.

Crotty fractured his thumb in the semi-final win over the Hurricanes and had surgery on Sunday to stabilize it.

He will be sidelined for up to eight weeks.

Barrett will miss the next five to six weeks after fracturing the second metacarpal at the base of his index finger.

The Crusaders have ready-made replacements in the midfield and at lock.

Mo'unga shines as Crusaders storm home

With a breathtaking blend of defensive grunt and attacking inspiration, the double defending champions kept their perfect home record in playoffs intact and extended their unbeaten winning streak at Rugby League Park to 29 matches.

They will return to the venue to meet the winner of the Hurricanes and the Bulls, who play their quarter-final on Saturday.

"We knew it was going to be tough, quarter-finals are always tough," Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock said.

Ryan Crotty to play 150th match as Crusaders aim for top spot

Crotty will slot in a second-five, partnering All Blacks teammate Jack Goodhue in the midfield, as the two-time defending champions aim to bounce back from last week's dismal 40-27 defeat to the Chiefs in Suva.

As a token of Crotty's services to the club, the Christchurch Stadium West Stand has been renamed the 'Ryan Crotty Stand' for this match.

Owen Franks poised for return for Crusaders against Rebels

The veteran prop's been struggling with a muscle tear in his right shoulder but has survived what appeared to be a busy training session in Christchurch on Tuesday.

Franks has to get through the full week to be considered for Saturday night's final round robin game against the Rebels. 

"It was great for him to get a good session in today," said assistant coach Ronan O'Gara. "He's tracking along nicely.

"He's been out for a substantial amount of time, so you have to be careful. He's such a prized asset that you've got to make sure you get his return to play right."