20 Sep 2012

Announcement due on privatising Super franchises

6:51 pm on 20 September 2012

The CEO of the New Zealand Rugby Union Steve Tew has reported on what he calls the "most future focused" NZRU board meeting he's held.

One big announcement is due next month on the controversial semi-privatisation of up to four of the local Super Rugby franchise licences.

Tew says the hopeful injection of capital from local unions, some with offshore backing, will help the already-improving books of the franchises - though not much will actually change operationally.

The NZRU will still hire all coaches and centrally contract players in order to keep New Zealand-eligible All Blacks hopefuls here.

Other new items to emerge from the NZRU board meeting include a new collective players agreement to be sorted by November - which Tew signals will involve less money for players - as well as a new community rugby strategy to be finalised, and some new headquarters organised in Molesworth St.

Tew says SANZAR has been talking about getting Argentina players involved in their competitions below the new four nations tournament - and not just Super Rugby.

He expects to see a lot more Pumas-eligible players plying their trade down under sooner rather than later, in the likes of the ITM and Currie Cups.

The challenge is the three other unions need to find their own international players from those competitions.

An Argentinian side has been playing since 2010 in South Africa's development competition, the Vodacom Cup, and the Pampas actually won it last year.