Super Rugby 2020: Blues invite fans to paint Eden Park rainbow for Crusaders clash

The Blues have invited fans to 'show the love', when they host the Crusaders at Eden Park on Friday - Valentine's Day.

The Auckland-based Super Rugby franchise wants to paint the stadium rainbow for the traditionally intense local derby. 

Goal-post pads will don distinctive rainbow colours, while fans can show their support for the team and the rainbow community by waving rainbow flags provided on entry. 

Hooker James Parsons said players and fans needed to show rugby could be one of the most inclusive sports in the world. 

"At the heart of the Blues culture is our commitment to bringing communities together, both on and off the field," Parsons said.

"This Valentine's Day, we want to share our love of the game and show that rugby is a game for everyone."

Blues brand & community general manager Robyn Rowley told Newshub the franchise believed rugby must embrace the LBGTIQ community.

"We can't speak for the entire rugby community, but we do recognise that change is needed," Rowley said. 

"Our organisation is at the start of our diversity and inclusion journey, and we believe sport has an important role to play in bringing communities together.

"If something as small as flying a rainbow flag can create visibility and start an important conversation around diversity and inclusion, then that is a positive step forward. 

"If we do nothing, then nothing will change."

Rowley said it was important to provide a culture within rugby where both male and female players felt safe, regardless of their sexuality.

"Alongside NZ Rugby, we are working towards creating an open and welcoming environment, where everyone feels respected and supported at all times."  

Join us at 7pm Friday for live updates of the Blues v Crusaders Super Rugby clash.