The NZRU have announced that the Crusaders Super Rugby franchise will be run by a partnership made up of six provincial unions – Canterbury, Tasman, Mid Canterbury, Buller and West Coast.
Each of the unions will invest $200,000 of capital and make a loan contribution of $300,000, to the Crusaders Limited Partnership.
"We are pleased to confirm today details around the Crusaders licence which will ensure that the Crusaders begin next year better equipped to face the challenges of the highly competitive market that rugby operates in," says NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew.
"We set out on this process to deliver a more sustainable commercial model for Super Rugby franchises so they can better look after the interests of teams, fans, sponsors and rugby and we are thrilled the Crusaders now join the Hurricanes in that regard.
"We believe that the new Crusaders Limited Partnership is a really positive step forward for the Crusaders," says current Crusaders Chairman Murray Ellis. "It puts us on a sound financial footing and provides certainty and stability for the future.”
Christchurch-based businessman Brent Francis will be one of the six directors on the board and is thrilled to be a part of the Partnership.
“I am thrilled to be involved in the new Crusaders limited partnership," said Francis. "As a Crusaders fan, I am happy to be able to help ensure the future viability of this great rugby organisation,” Francis says.
The Crusaders Limited Partnership’s responsibilities include: management of the team both on-field and off-field including the professional development for members of the squad and marketing promotion of matches and the team.
The Hurricanes were the first New Zealand Super Rugby franchise to receive new licensee’s and Tew feels it’s a good move for rugby overall.
"We are confident the injection of new capital, stronger governance and fresh thinking will improve the performance of both the Crusaders and the Hurricanes and that will be good for rugby," says Tew.