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Ireland to meet All Blacks in Christchurch's new stadium

CHRISTCHURCH will get a new 17,000-capacity rugby stadium on the site of the AMI Stadium, which was damaged during the February earthquake in New Zealand.

The new stadium will be on the site of Rugby League Park and will be ready by March next year, in time for the 2012 Super Rugby season, the New Zealand Herald said.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) confirmed that the All Blacks, who won the World Cup at home last month, would play Ireland in a test match at the venue next year.

"I think it is crucial, it is a step towards the restoration of normality for Cantabrians," New Zealand prime minister John Key said.

Doubt remains for Fuimaono-Sapolu

Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu's Gloucester future remains in some doubt despite the controversial centre escaping a six-month ban at a Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel in Bristol last night.

The 31-year-old Samoan was found guilty of two of three charges of "conduct prejudicial to the interests of the game" relating to comments made on his Twitter account but has only been banned by the RFU for three weeks. Their verdict did, however, indicate that the IRB could yet impose their own sanction.