Rescuing Rugby

Dylan Cleaver
Written by
Dylan Cleaver

Author short introduction. Three to five lines of brief description.

[848225066  Former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says playing the Springboks and South Africa’s Super Rugby teams is hugely important in keeping the All Blacks competitive.]

In the face of global financial uncertainty, New Zealand Rugby has made several lucrative deals to shore up its finances - now it has to switch focus to rebuilding fractured relationships, writes Dylan Cleaver.

I would love to see the Springboks in the Six Nations,” says 2019 Springbok World Cup winning coach Rassie Erasmus.

New Zealand Rugby has the money.  Now it has to ensure it still has friends to play with.

While South Africa, New Zealand’s most treasured rival, will remain locked in to Sanzaar until 2025, it continues to make loud noises about joining the Six Nations and unless it finds a way to do both, that would leave the All Blacks staring at a Rugby Championship diet heavy on Wallaby,  and probably including Puma with a garnish of Brave Blossoms on the side.

It’s a meal unlikely to satisfy fans and one that could compromise the All Blacks not so much financially but leave them underdone from a high-performance standpoint when it comes to northern tours, World Cups and the proposed Nations Cup.

Former All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen was adamant the key to the All Blacks continued success was regular matches against South Africans, at Super Rugby and Rugby Championship level.  The first has already gone and if the second follows, all the Silver Lake money in the world won’t bridge the gap.

After an agonisingly protracted and bitter process, the relationship between US private equity giants Silver Lake and the national rugby body is close to consummation.

This is, literally, a big deal. While few outside the world of investment banking get excited by terms like “perpetual convertible security”, Silver Lake offers the national sport financial succour in a time of global hardship.

Continue this story in our Apr/May issue.

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Dylan Cleaver
Written by
Dylan Cleaver

Dylan Cleaver has been immersed in sports journalism since 1996, covering three Olympic Games, various world cups and two pigeon races. He has won more than 30 national journalism awards. He is the founder of the sports newsletter The Bounce – find it at dylancleaver.substack.com.

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