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Altrad: NZ teams to play in Montpellier four times

By Liam Heagney

Trending on RugbyPass

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Mohed Altrad has explained the likely benefits for Montpellier after it was confirmed that the Altrad group had beaten Amazon into securing a six-year deal to become the new shirt sponsor of the All Blacks. The famed New Zealand national team had been sponsored by AIG in recent times but their new deal will see the All Blacks wearing the name of Altrad on their shirts similar to what has taken place with the France national jersey.  

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Altrad has since been speaking in the French media, outlining how Montpellier will stage four New Zealand matches in the coming years and how the Top 14 club bankrolled by the French entrepreneur are hoping to benefit from their owner’s new sponsorship link with the All Blacks. 

Speaking to rugbyrama.fr, Altrad said: “In the contract, a partnership between the MHR and the All Blacks is also planned: exchanges of skills will take place in particular at the level of coaches, training and, in addition, four matches of the All Blacks will be played in Montpellier between 2022 and 2026. 

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Ardie Savea on the prospect of skippering the All Blacks

“It will then be necessary to find a credible and international opposition. We will not make them face the MHR, in plain language. Four games over the term of the contract: All Blacks, All Blacks B, Maori and Black Ferns, New Zealand women’s team.”

Asked if the sponsorship deal, reputedly worth €70million over its six-year duration, will result in All Blacks players arriving at Montpellier to play in the Top 14, Altrad added: “This is provided for in the contractual clauses. They [New Zealand Rugby] will do their utmost to facilitate contacts between the All Blacks who are no longer selected and our club.

“Please note: the players are obviously free to choose and we are talking about All Blacks who no longer play in the national team! But we will have an easier approach, indeed.” Altrad insisted there was no conflict of issue over his company sponsoring both the All Blacks and France, teams that are set to meet in the pool stages of the 2023 World Cup.

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“No, it’s just a commercial act validated by World Rugby. Nothing forbids it. Altrad does not manage either the FFR or the NZRU, as far as I know. The sponsor remains in his box. To have a company born in France that sponsors the All Blacks is a national pride, in my opinion. We were in competition with Amazon, in particular.”

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Altrad: NZ teams to play in Montpellier four times

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