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Former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw's new role in the future of NZ rugby

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Richie McCaw will play a major role in the future of the game in New Zealand with the former All Blacks captain listed as one of six directors for the new entity set up to undertake New Zealand Rugby’s commercial dealings following the agreement with Silver Lake.


As confirmed in June, Silver Lake will pay around $NZ200 million for a share of between 5 to 8 per cent in NZR’s future commercial revenues in exchange for the commercial, financial and digital expertise the billion-dollar private equity firm can bring to the table.

As part of the agreement, NZR has set up a separate commercial entity – New Zealand Rugby Commercial GP Limited – with an initial group of six directors appointed, including McCaw.

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Included within the other five directors are three individuals who are already well-engrossed in the machinations of NZ rugby, NZR CEO Mark Robinson, chairman Stewart Mitchell and board member Bailey Mackey.

It may well be the presence of the talismanic McCaw, who played 149 Tests for the All Blacks over a 16-year career, that will encourage the game’s many stakeholders that rugby is not ‘selling out’ in New Zealand and that Silver Lake’s investment is a positive move for the sport.

McCaw – who initially expressed reservations about the proposed arrangement – will act as the representative of the New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association on the new entity’s board.

The NZRPA originally urged the sport’s administrators to consider alternative investment sources, including a share float that would allow small New Zealand investors to have a share of the All Blacks. Adjustments to the arrangement, however, quelled much of the concerns.


Delegates to New Zealand Rugby special general meeting in June voted 89-1 to support the deal which took almost two years to come to fruition because of the initial opposition from the Players’ Association.

Under the terms of the arrangement almost $NZ 37 million will be distributed in the short-term, including $NZ 1 million to each of New Zealand’s top-level provinces, $NZ 500,000 to lower-tier provinces, $NZ 2 million to Maori rugby, $NZ 7.5 million to clubs and $NZ5 million to the players association.


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