NZ Rugby chairman takes parting shot at Players' Association over opposition to Silver Lake deal

Outgoing New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey has reserved some stern words for the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association over their opposition to the Silver Lake equity deal

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The proposal, which will see Silver Lake pay millions for a stake of NZ Rugby’s commercial interests, was passed unanimously by the provincial unions today, but the NZRPA hasn’t given its approval. Source: 1 NEWS

Impey’s comments come after the provincial unions voted in favour of the deal today, which will see the US tech investment company pay $387.5 million for a 12.5 per cent stake in NZ Rugby’s commercial interests, which will be bundled up in a new entity.

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In his final address at today’s AGM before stepping down after seven years in the role, Impey had kind words for various people and organisations involved in NZ Rugby.

Those kind words didn’t extend to the Players' Association, which opposed the Silver Lake deal over concerns NZ Rugby’s culture, and particularly the haka, would be up for sale.

Future mediation between the parties would take place after previous efforts failed to reach an agreement. 

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“The New Zealand Rugby Players' Association, I’m disappointed in their opposition to Silver Lake, enough said,” Impey told members.

“But you [the provincial unions] today have sent a very, very clear message.

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“The opportunity from Silver Lake is this — the deal has the potential to set up rugby in New Zealand for the future.”

Impey went on to say that it was up to NZ Rugby to ensure the money was well spent and would help set up rugby's future in New Zealand.

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“My final words on it, but no money and too much money can be a curse. That final word is to ensure the money is well spent,” he said. 

“Be as disciplined as if it is your own.”