8 Aug 2017

Crusaders return with Super Rugby trophy

7:38 am on 8 August 2017

The Super Rugby champions, the Crusaders, have been welcomed home by hundreds of fans at Christchurch Airport.

Israel Dagg of the Crusaders celebrates the 2017 Super Rugby victory at Ellis Park, Johannesburg.

The Crusaders celebrate their Super Rugby victory at Ellis Park. Photo: Photosport

The team returned late last night after beating Lions 25-17 in Johannesburg at the weekend.

Captain Sam Whitelock was greeted with cheers as he walked into the airport holding the Super Rugby championship trophy aloft.

"The feeling here is amazing, the amount of people dressed up is really special, and the whole team has been excited to get back," Whitelock said.

Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, the first person to have won the title as a player and a coach, was glad to be home to greet fans.

"Someone just told me the other day (I'm) the first to win both, so I'll take some time to reflect on that," Robertson said.

The Crusaders last won the Super Rugby competition in 2008.

The celebrations will continue in Christchurch on Tuesday, with a reception outside the Christchurch Art Gallery from around 4.15pm - timed so school children can attend.

"They did us all so proud and I know so many people will want to congratulate them for what they have achieved," Mayor Lianne Dalziel said.