Super Rugby Aotearoa

Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy damaged during Crusaders celebrations

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The Crusaders celebrate during their Super Rugby Aotearoa win against Highlanders in Christchurch on 9 August 2020.
The Crusaders celebrate during their Super Rugby Aotearoa win against Highlanders in Christchurch on 9 August 2020.
Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

The brand-new Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy needs urgent repairs after it was dropped and damaged during the Crusaders' title celebrations, reports said on Tuesday.

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Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said the trophy suffered "minor damage".

New Zealand media published pictures showing a dent in its wooden base and missing its prominent stone carving.

"The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy was designed to be passed around," Mansbridge was quoted as saying in a statement.

"Following the match on Sunday, the trophy has accidentally been dropped and incurred some minor damage.

"We have notified New Zealand Rugby, and sought cultural advice," he said. "Repairs will be made as soon as possible."

The New Zealand-designed trophy's wooden base symbolises an upturned waka, or canoe, while the traditional pounama mere, or greenstone club, represents the unity of the rugby community.

Mansbridge told the New Zealand Herald that the Crusaders had sent an apology to the trophy's creator.

"It's not a good look. Is it good enough? No," he said.

The trophy, dubbed Tu Kotahi Aotearoa, translates to Stand as one, New Zealand.

Super Rugby Aotearoa, featuring the five New Zealand teams that play in the southern hemisphere Super Rugby competition, debuted this year after the coronavirus pandemic halted international rugby.

The Crusaders, winners of the last three Super Rugby titles, won the domestic competition with a game to spare when they beat the Otago Highlanders 32-22 on Sunday.

They have won six of seven games and will conclude their campaign with a sold-out clash against the Blues in Auckland on Sunday (05:35 SA time).