The Crusaders are a Super 12 rugby team based around Canterbury, New Zealand. Originally known as Canterbury, from 1997 onwards the name became simply Crusaders as the team covered far more than the Canterbury area.
The Crusaders serve the entire upper half of the South Island of New Zealand, including Christchurch and Marlborough. Their region contains seven provincial unions, Nelson Bays, Marlborough, Buller, West Coast, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury.
The Crusaders are home to All Black stars past and present, including Andrew Mehrtens, Justin Marshall, and Aaron Mauger, and have used them to win the competition four times, three of which were consecutive and the fourth a unique thirteen-game unbeaten season.
Home games for the team are played at Jade Stadium, Christchurch, where thousands of fans turn out for each one. The team has never lost a finals game at the stadium.
In previous Super 12 competitions, the Crusaders have almost always performed exceptionally. Their end-of-season results are thus:
Year Final Position Competition Points Notes
1996 12 13
1997 6 26
1998 1 (2) 41 Beat Blues in final
1999 1 (4) 33 Beat Highlanders in final
2000 1 (2) 39 Beat ACT Brumbies in final
2001 10 23
2002 1 (1) 51 Undefeated. Beat ACT Brumbies in final
2003 2 (2) 40 Lost final to Blues