New Zealand Rugby is positive they can come to an agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Players' Association about the proposed Silver Lake deal after they were backed by a unanimous vote from provincial unions today.
All 26 unions voted in favour of the $387.5 million deal today at the annual general meeting in Wellington which would see NZR sell a 12.5 per cent stake in a newly-created entity formed from their commercial interests.
But the deal has been opposed by the NZRPA in the build-up to today's vote and has resulted in mediation between the two parties to try and resolve their issues.
NZR CEO Mark Robinson said both parties agreed to cease those discussions while NZR handled today's vote, but they will come back together next week to begin talks again and he believes therer will be a positive result.
"Players are an absolutely critical part of our game and they're central to everything that we do," Robinson said.
"We just need to take some time, settle down a little bit, step back from this and then have another go at sitting down and talking about it.
"These things happen. The players care deeply about the game and want to do what they think is best for it and we're trying to do that as well.
"We just need to spend some more time when the time is right to look at the opportunities and understand each other's perspectives as well."
NZR chairman Brent Impey has publically expressed his disappointment in the NZRPA's disapproval on multiple ocassions but hopes today's message from the provincial unions voting unanimously in favour of the deal speaks even louder.
"It's very clear that this is a deal that must proceed," Impey said.
Impey added the two parties had discussions online last Thursday, where the NZRPA pitched a counter-proposal which the NZR has since replied to.
"I hope we are sending a strong message," he said.
"There isn't a deadline - Silver Lake have advised us that they'll be patient as we go through the process.
"We hope to reach a resolution with the players' association but we've got a bit of time to do that."