13 Nov 2008

New Zealand Rugby Union threatens to go it alone

7:56 am on 13 November 2008

The New Zealand Rugby Union is threatening to abandon the International Rugby Board's tour programme and simply arrange tours against top revenue-generating nations.

At an IRB meeting in London the major topic of discussion between the top 10 Test nations was over the June Test window and the quality of sides that northern hemisphere sides send south.

The likes of the New Zealand union are concerned second string sides are touring and one possible solution to make the tours more worthwhile that's being considered is a return to more traditional tours playing provincial sides.

Another option says rugby union CEO Steve Tew is to simply organise their own tours, which would generate more revenue.

Steve Tew says the current IRB future Test programme is set down until 2010 and from then on it's all up for negotiation.