Could All Blacks greatest captain Richie McCaw be part of new NZ Rugby trade council?
At such an auspicious time for New Zealand rugby, it was no surprise that Richie McCaw’s name made the rounds.
And certainly NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson, who worked with McCaw’s tenacity to push through the Siler Lake investment deal after nearly two years of painstaking back and forth, was doing nothing to water suggestions that the man dubbed our greatest All Black of all time could be part of a brave new leadership group.
NZ Rugby’s 26 provincial unions signed the biggest-ever deal in New Zealand sporting history on Thursday, with a $200 million investment from US private equity firm Silver Lake for a small part of the side business revenue generator.
All Blacks captain Sam Cane described the mega deal as a “big step forward” for the game.
The sale could go up to a further $100 million, depending on the success of an offer to New Zealand-based institutional investors for another slice of the pie. Silver Lake said it would embrace this, with the option of increasing its own investment if local participation does not meet certain thresholds.
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Following this major injection of capital, NZ Rugby will change the way it operates, splitting the revenue-generating side of the business into a new organization (NZR CommercialCo) which will have its own nine-person board keeping an eye on the investment opportunities. , revenue and brand growth, strategic moves, new markets, etc.
This is where McCaw’s name came up. The new board, still run under the auspices of NZ Rugby, will have an independent chairman and the NZ Rugby Players Association will have one representative on it, along with five from NZR and two from Silver Lake.
McCaw, who led the All Blacks to back-to-back World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015, and played 148 Tests for the team, is believed to be a leading contender for the players spot on the board.
While his governance experience is limited and his exposure to the type of high-end corporate world that CommCo will now operate is insignificant, McCaw’s status as an All Black icon, his mana in the world of rugby and his leadership and strategic sense would work. in his favor as a candidate for the Board of Directors.
After Thursday’s special general meeting, in which New Zealand’s 26 provincial unions voted 89-1 in favor of the Silver Lake investment proposal, Robinson was asked if McCaw was the type to person who could be useful to the new board.
The NZR boss avoided mention of the All Blacks in particular, but in no way watered down the prospect.
“The board has room for a player representative, and we know the players association has taken governance very seriously throughout this process, so they will put the best person in place for the players. represent in their interests, but will also play a role in the overall success and bringing together of this council,” he said.
“We expect a board of very high caliber and believe there will be genuine interest in the business and sporting communities in New Zealand and around the world who may appear to be part of it.
“We look forward to the process of forming this council. Certainly, the two delegates from Silver Lake are very high quality people, and their mere presence will be something exciting for people to meet and work with.
Add McCaw and you could have something of a dream team yourself.