18 Jun 2009

Counties Manukau calls for public support

12:09 pm on 18 June 2009

Counties Manukau Rugby is holding a public meeting on Monday night at Pukekohe to try to spark a financial recovery after rejecting a New Zealand Rugby Union bailout.

The loss of their main sponsor and losing more money by having to play at Mt Smart Stadium forced the Steelers to approach the NZRU.

But they've called the NZRU's offer "authoritarian" because it would have meant accepting relegation to a lower division when the provincial championship is restructured next year or in 2011.

The first stage of the survival fight is to try to sell 3000 season memberships from as little as $50 to boost crowds now that Growers' Stadium can host night games.

Chief executive Phil McConnell says they still believe enough people care about a province that's produced All Blacks such as Pat Walsh, Jonah Lomu, Bruce Robertson and Andy Dalton.