Super Rugby Aotearoa: Crusaders' celebrations leave trophy damaged

The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy has become the latest victim left in the wake of the recently crowned champion Crusaders.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge has confirmed the trophy was damaged during the squad's post-game celebrations.

The Christchurch-based side clinched the maiden title with a round to spare, with their comeback win against the Highlanders on Sunday.

Mansbridge says they've notified NZ Rugby of the damage and are seeking advice over its repair.

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

"We have notified NZ Rugby and sought cultural advice. Repairs will be made as soon as possible."

Carved out of totara by Otaki's Bill Doyle, the Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa trophy represents the coming together of the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders after the disruption and turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa translates to 'Stand As One New Zealand'. 

An image supplied by the Crusaders reveals the damage to the trophy's base.

The damaged Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa trophy.
The damaged Tū Kōtahi Aotearoa trophy. Photo credit: Supplied

"The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy was designed to be touched and passed around," Mansbridge adds.

The Crusaders will travel to Auckland to take on the Blues at a sold-out Eden Park in the final round of the competition on Sunday.

Join us for live updates of the Blues v Cruaders Super Rugby Aotearoa clash from 3pm Sunday