Super XV Rugby Stars Stay Free At Chiswick Moran Hotel

First match ever to be staged outside the Southern Hemisphere raised money for Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

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Chiswick Moran Hotel showed support for Christchurch Earthquake Appeal by opening its doors to the Natal Sharks (pictured right) ahead of last weekend’s Twickenham match allowing them to stay free of charge.

The match featured 25 internationals in the two starting line-ups and was the highlight of a week of fundraising for the Red Cross earthquake appeal. Donations from ticket sales alone will total £175,470.

Once the RFU have finalised their accounts from hosting the match, they will also be making a contribution to the appeal fund.

Unfortunately New Zealand superstars Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams proved too much for the Sharks as the Crusaders won the match with a 44-28 victory.

This was the first Super Rugby match ever to be staged outside of the SANZAR nations.

It took place in Twickenham because of damage to the Crusaders' home AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Sharks team of 34, which included Springbok captain John Smit, Tendai "Beast" Mtawarira, Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis and head coach John Plumtree, arrived in Chiswick on Friday 25 March, ahead of Sunday’s clash. The Chiswick Moran Hotel agreed to host the Sharks, free of charge, in support of the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Appeal.

“The RFU is extremely grateful to the Chiswick Moran Hotel for allowing the Sharks team to stay with them, free of charge,” said an RFU spokesman. “The devastating effects of the earthquake in Christchurch have united the rugby community and the opportunity for Twickenham to host the first Super 15 Rugby match outside of the Southern Hemisphere. The generosity of the Chiswick Moran Hotel is a wonderful gesture of goodwill.”

“The Canterbury Crusaders’ home stadium in Christchurch suffered major structural damage during the recent earthquake and so they were unable to host the Natal Sharks for the match as planned, as well as seven of the upcoming 2011 Rugby World Cup games. It would have been down to the Crusaders to foot the bill for the Sharks’ travel expenses for this match, so we are delighted to be able to offer complimentary hotel rooms to the team in support of the Red Cross Christchurch Earthquake Appeal,” said Josh Cameron, General Manager, Chiswick Moran Hotel.

March 28, 2011