Super 15 side Crusaders could return to play in London

Dan carter at Twickenham
Carter is second only to England's Jonny Wilkinson in the list of Test points scorers

Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder admits his team could return to London if Sunday's Super 15 match against the Sharks at Twickenham proves a success.

The game has been moved from Canterbury after the Crusaders' AMI Stadium was damaged in February's earthquake.

"It will be new and if it gives us other opportunities that will be fantastic as well," said Blackadder.

"If the powers that be decide they would like to see other Super 15 games here that would be good for our sport."

The former All Black, who described the match as "a toe in the water", added that any repeat would also be dependent on northern hemisphere fans enjoying the occasion.

A crowd of over 50,000 is expected to watch the first Super Rugby match to be held in the northern hemisphere, although the total attendance will be capped at 55,000 because of the transport difficulties in London.

If the crowd reaches that limit it will eclipse the record crowd for a match in the competition - 54,000 for a Bulls match in Pretoria.

Although Crusaders captain Richie McCaw is missing after suffering a foot stress fracture, New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter is looking forward to a competetive encounter.

"They are a team full of big, fast men and it will be a very tough match. They have strengths across the park but we've prepared well for them," he said.

"We are all looking forward to playing at Twickenham - it's easy to get excited about this one."

However Carter will not have to pit his wits against promising Sharks outside-half Patrick Lambie because the 20-year-old has a finger injury.

The Sharks still boast several star names. South Africa captain John Smit is joined by fellow Springboks Jannie and Bismarck du Plessie in the front row, with Ryan Kankowski at number eight.

Among the backs, centres Stefan Terblanche, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo and Odwa Ndungane have all been capped by South Africa.

They will hope to contain league convert Sonny Bill Williams, who impressed on his last visit to Twickenham - helping New Zealand to a 26-16 win over England on his All Blacks debut in November.

Both sides are in form ahead of the game with the Crusaders on a run of three successive victories and the Sharks winning four of their opening five games.

Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Sean Maitland, Robbie Fruean, Sonny Bill Williams, Zac Guildford; Dan Carter, Andrew Ellis; Wyatt Crockett, Corey Flynn, Owen Franks, Brad Thorn, Sam Whitelock, George Whitelock, Matt Todd, Kieran Read (capt).

Replacements: Quentine MacDonald, Ben Franks, Chris Jack, Jonathan Poff, Kahn Fotuali'i, Matt Berquist, Adam Whitelock.

Sharks: Louis Ludik; Odwa Ndungane, Stefan Terblanche, Meyer Bosman, Lwazi Mvovo; Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Charl McLeod; John Smit (capt), Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Steven Sykes, Alistair Hargreaves, Keegan Daniel, Willem Alberts, Ryan Kankowski.

Replacements: Eugene van Staden, Tendai Mtawarira, Gerhard Mostert, Jacques Botes, Conrad Hoffmann, Adrian Jacobs, JP Pietersen.

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