Super Rugby
Crusaders to honour Pike River miners
ESPNscrum Staff
December 16, 2010
Crusaders captain Richie McCaw follows the action, Stormers v Crusaders, Newlands, Cape Town, South Africa, April 30, 2010
Richie McCaw will visit Hokitika and Greymouth following the Pike River disaster © Getty Images

The Crusaders will dedicate their opening Super Rugby game of 2011 to the victims of the Pike River mining disaster.

The players will don red and white West Coast jerseys for their clash with the Waratahs on February 4, with the kit then set to be signed and auctioned on website Trade Me in order to raise funds for the Pike River Mine mayoral fund.

Crusaders head coach Todd Blackadder said that it was a small gesture for a community that was hurting following the tragedy, which killed 29 men in November.

"We all feel for the West Coast community in this extremely tough time," he said. "The coast is an important part of the Crusaders family and our visit and wearing their jersey are two ways we can try to lift their spirits.

"We're all looking forward to spending the day on the coast and paying special tribute to the community by wearing the red and white hoops of West Coast in our first home game."

The Crusaders' nine All Blacks - skipper Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Sonny Bill Williams, Brad Thorn, Owen Franks, Sam Whitelock, Kieran Read, Andy Ellis and Ben Franks - will also visit Hokitika and Greymouth on February 2.

Meanwhile, nine players have been named in the Chiefs' wider training group prior to the Super Rugby kick-off. Four have been plucked from the ranks of Countie Manukau, prop Simon Lemalu, lock Taiasina Tuifua, halfback August Pulu and winger Ahsee Tuala, while Waikato loose forwards Stephen Setephano and Matt Vant Leven are joined on the panel by fly-half Trent Renata. The remaining two players are from Bay of Plenty - back-row Sam Cane and centre Phil Burleigh.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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