16 Apr 2021

Heartland unions back Silver Lake deal

7:12 pm on 16 April 2021
Jacob Coghlan of North Otago, following the Heartland Championship Meads Cup Final between North Otago and Wanganui, 2019.


All 12 of the country's minor provincial unions have come out in support of New Zealand Rugby's proposed deal with US company Silver Lake.

The proposed $460 million deal would give Silver Lake a 15 percent stake in the game which is cause for concern for some top players, prompting them to write to New Zealand Rugby raising concerns.

A mediator has been called in to try and resolve a stand off between NZ Rugby (NZR) and the Players Association (NZRPA).

All 12 of the Heartland Provincial Unions came out in support of the deal in a statement today.

"We believe it is time for our views to be heard because rugby for all of our players and participants starts in our communities and Heartland Rugby is all about community rugby," Heartland group chair Bridget Belsham.

"The grassroots level of the game is the cornerstone of rugby in New Zealand and we see the Silver Lake partnership with NZ Rugby vital in ensuring community rugby survives," she said.

"Rugby is facing immense challenges and investment into the community game must happen now. There are more than 150,000 rugby players in New Zealand and millions of fans.

"We believe this opportunity deserves our unconditional support and is required to secure the long term future of rugby in our country".

New Zealand Rugby will vote on whether to proceed with the Silver Lake deal at its AGM at the end of the month.