28 Oct 2011

All Blacks to have office in Paris

12:32 pm on 28 October 2011

Amid debate as to whether or not All Blacks captain Richie McCaw was eye gouged by a French player during Sunday's World Cup final, the New Zealand Rugby Union's announced it is opening its first overseas office in Paris.

The union chief executive Steve Tew says the office will be open by the end of the year and will focus on gaining sponsorship for the All Blacks.

The announcement comes just days after McCaw appeared to be eye gouged by French centre Aurelien Rougerie in the final few minutes of the final, but the All Blacks opted not to cite to the International Rugby Board judiciary over the incident.

Tew says France is the biggest market for the All Blacks outside of New Zealand.

The office is a joint venture with the Avenport Investment Group, which recently helped the NZRU raise $90,000 for the Canterbury earthquake appeal fund through an auction in Paris of rugby memorabilia.