9 Apr 2015

NZRU must work to keep players

1:27 pm on 9 April 2015

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) has acknowledged it needs to work harder to ensure players and coaches are not tempted by overseas contracts.

Charles Piutau on Blues duty

Charles Piutau on Blues duty Photo: Photosport

The NZRU announced a profit of $373,000 for the 2014 financial year and chief executive Steve Tew has said he hoped the money would help reduce the numbers of talented players heading overseas.

Eight All Blacks will this year announce they are heading overseas to play. Such as move is not unexpected from the likes of Dan Carter and Ma'a Nonu, who are nearing the end of their careers, 23-year-old Charles Piutau's decision to sign a two-year contract with Irish club Ulster caught some by surprise.

Piutau's contract is believed to be worth $1 million a season.

Rugby Players Association chief executive Rob Nicol said work needed to be done to keep talent in this country.

"The reality is to stay competitive on the international scale, we've got to keep working hard on developing good competitions, getting good money in the door, having great sponsors and filtering that through to retaining not just players but coaches as well."

Mr Nicol said the association relied on the supportive environment of New Zealand rugby to attract players into staying.

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