MUNSTER will host Crusaders in an historic world-first ‘Clash of Champions’ fixture early in 2024, with the venue to be announced in the coming weeks.
The New Zealand side secured their seventh successive Super Rugby Pacific championship on the trot at the weekend, defeating Chiefs 25-20 to retain their title.
The win bolsters Crusaders’ run as the most successful team in the competition’s history, having won 14 trophies to date.
Following Munster’s much celebrated URC win in Cape Town, the clash will mark the first time reigning champions of the URC and Super Rugby have faced off against one another.
Former Munster Head Coach Rob Penney has already been confirmed as the new Crusaders Head Coach from 2024 and their pre-season campaign will see them embark on their first ever international tour for fixtures against Munster and Bristol Bears.
Munster Rugby CEO, Ian Flanagan, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Super Rugby champions to Munster, hosting a ground-breaking fixture against the Crusaders.
”We hold a proud and rich history of playing touring sides and I’ve no doubt next February’s game will be a special occasion for all involved.”
Colin Mansbridge, Crusaders CEO, said: “The Crusaders are thrilled to be coming over to Ireland and the UK to face some stiff competition away from home.”
”NZ and Australian clubs have been working on the World Club Competition for years, so when an opportunity for Super teams to play Northern Hemisphere counterparts came up, it was just too good to pass up.
”Munster have a history of giving touring sides a pretty hard time, so they present particularly tough competition. There’s also the added connection with our new head coach Rob Penney who coached there,” Mansbridge said.
2024 Crusaders Tour Fixtures:
Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Saturday Feb 3 (5pm)
Bristol Bears v Crusaders, Friday Feb 9 (time TBC)