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No immediate windfall from World Cup win

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Lynn McConnell     13 Nov 2015     Getty Images


Rather than banking a World Cup dividend, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) would still be looking at a loss of around $1million for the year.

Tew said after Thursday's board meeting that World Cup years were traditionally difficult because of reduced revenue with fewer Test matches played and while World Rugby had provided some partial compensation it could still not prevent a loss.

Winning the World Cup also impacted the financial return as some significant Cup bonuses had to be paid out to the team in a year in which there was reduced income.

"It's one we've known about and budgeted for and it is one of the reasons we have cash reserves because in years like this if we need to budget for, and end up running, a loss then we can cope with it," Tew said.

"But is winning back to back World Cups helpful commercially and will it generate more income? Yes.

"Does it happen tomorrow? No."

NZR had a very mature business and commercial model based on 130 years of high percentage winning ratios and in the professional era the ratio was even better than that.

"It is certainly helpful to have won a couple of weeks ago, it will further enhance this incredibly strong brand and it will open up more opportunities for us.

"But it is not an immediate ching, ching, ching through the cash register," he said.

Tew said the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero was another chance to enhance opportunities.

"We said last year as we completed our negotiations around our broadcasters agreement that we'd made a big step forward and that obviously still holds, so we are in very good shape and I think the work the team has done this year, off-the-field as much as on it, has certainly enhanced that.

"If you talk about the All Blacks' story and also the story of New Zealand which the All Blacks are an important part of, 2015 has been a really positive year for taking that story forward," he said.

During the World Cup the SANZAR partners had workshops to develop a long-term strategy for the governing body.


While World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset had talked about Japan as a possible Rugby Championship competitor in the future and while everyone was excited about their World Cup efforts this year, Sanzar was still nervous about Japan's entry into the Investec Super Rugby competition, said Tew.

"One day in our longer term plan the strategy will explore what the options are for the Rugby Championship.

"It won't just be Japan. We've got the whole of South America, Asia and the west coast of the United States to consider in terms of the long term future so all that will be in the planning pot. It's far too early to start talking definitively about other countries starting the Rugby Championship in the short term but we obviously haven't discounted anything in the longer term," Tew said.

There was always nervousness when the competition expanded, it took time to bed down and there was also nervousness about what strength the Kings from South Africa might bring. However, the signs were that Argentina's entry would involve a strong team.

"They are very well organised, very prepared and they've got a very strong player roster and they might actually be quite a considerable worry and it is going to add a significant amount of colour to the competition," he said.