18 May 2013

Blues latest Super rugby franchise licence to be sold

6:59 am on 18 May 2013

The Auckland, North Harbour and Northland rugby unions have combined with a private investor to purchase the licence to operate the Blues Super Rugby franchise.

The Blues is the third franchise to move to the model, after licences were awarded for the Hurricanes and Crusaders last year.

Under the new model, the provincial unions will hold a 60 percent share in the franchise, with private investment company Bolton Equities owning the other 40 percent.

The new board will be chaired by Tony Carter and includes former All Black Gary Whetton and Bolton Equities executive chairman Murray Bolton.

The New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew says the issuing of the licence is vital to ensure the sustainability of the Blues in Auckland's competitive sporting market.

Tew says good progress is being made by the Chiefs' provincial unions to purchase that franchise's licence.