21 Apr 2011

NZRU announces $9m loss

5:10 pm on 21 April 2011

The New Zealand Rugby Union has announced a loss of $9.4 million for the 2010 financial year.

The union attributed the loss to its investment in hosting the Rugby World Cup and the financial assistance provided to provincial unions and Super Rugby franchises.

The result is a $6.5 million improvement on the $15.9 million loss in 2009.

New Zealand Rugby Union chairman Mike Eagle says the sport has been living beyond its means for too long.

He told the annual general meeting in Wellington on Thursday that the global recession is continuing and expectations of dramatic improvement have been dashed by the recent national disasters at home and abroad.

However, he says the union is facing financial challenges of its own making and needs to ensure that the rugby organisations it is responsible for live within their means.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew says the global recession is not over and the finances of provinces and Super Rugby franchise remain a concern.

"We are very focused on the performance of our provincial unions and our franchise.

"We'll spend some time discussing how we can improve the performance of those organisations, because in the last 12 to 24 months it has deteriorated to a point where we are anxious."

Bryan Williams new president

Former All Black Bryan Williams has succeeded John Sturgeon as NZRU president.

Mr Williams was elected vice-president in 2009 and was nominated by Auckland.

He played 113 games for the All Blacks between 1970 and 1978 and later went on to coach at provincial, franchise and international levels, as well as serving as a director of the Auckland Rugby Union.

The new-vice president is another former All Black Ian MacRae.