7s, Maori to stay ABs: Tew

Fiji Sun - - Sports - Feed­back: os­eab@fi­jisun.com.fj

Welling­ton: New Zealand Rugby (NZR) are not plan­ning to re­move the All Blacks moniker from its Sev­ens and Maori teams.

Like the coun­try’s fa­mous 15-a-side na­tional team, the afore­men­tioned sides were given the name in 2012 as part of a re­brand­ing strat­egy, al­though it hasn’t al­ways had the ap­proval of some sec­tions of New Zealand’s rugby com­mu­nity.

And calls to scrap the name in­ten­si­fied af­ter New Zealand men’s poor per­for­mance at the Rio Olympics where they suf­fered a hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feat to Ja­pan in their first match and then bowed out in the quar­ter-fi­nals to even­tual win­ners Fiji. Crit­ics have sug­gested that New Zealand’s poor per­for­mance at the Olympics would dam­age the suc­cess and qual­ity as­so­ci­ated with the All Blacks brand. NZR chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Tew dis­putes those claims, how­ever, and said the teams would re­tain the name be­cause of the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits it of­fered. “The eco­nomic re­al­ity is if we are go­ing to gen­er­ate the rev­enue we need in­ter­na­tion­ally to sur­vive in this very com­pet­i­tive game we have to have more collateral in the mar­ket than we can pos­si­bly dream of with just the All Blacks,” he told Ra­dio Sport. “So our sev­ens teams and our Maori All Blacks … can give us lever­age to get spon­sor­ship and brand aware­ness we re­quire. The English clubs have just done a deal which gives them a hell of a lot more money to buy play­ers. “The French TV deal has cashed up the French clubs. The pres­sure on our play­ers con­tin­ues.” Tew ac­knowl­edged the poor show­ing of New Zealand’s men’s team did not meet the high stan­dards as­so­ci­ated with the brand but feels one bad re­sult did not harm the brand in a “mean­ing­ful way”. Planet Rugby Cheika said he wanted Gill and Holmes in his Wal­la­bies camp for The Rugby Cham­pi­onship but “they pretty much de­clined to come in be­cause they are in awk­ward sit­u­a­tions”. Both play­ers are man­aged by An­thony Pi­cone, who de­liv­ered them lu­cra­tive deals with the for­eign clubs de­spite them be­ing con­tracted un­til the end of the year. The ARU has the abil­ity to grant early re­leases to play­ers not of na­tional in­ter­est - Cheika said Dave Den­nis was al­lowed to leave for Ex­eter last week be­cause he was not in his se­lec­tion plans - while oth­ers who are of na­tional in­ter­est but have seven years of ser­vice can be granted a re­lease af­ter the third Bledis­loe Cup match in Oc­to­ber. “They were put in awk­ward sit­u­a­tions be­cause they had two con­tracts, and one would have been put in jeop­ardy if the other one was ad­hered to,” Cheika said. “It re­ally put them in per­sonal dis­tress. “Yes, we could play hard­ball but where is the bonus for me to cost Liam Gill his con­tract? “If he re­ally wants to go that much and doesn’t want to play for Aus­tralia so be it.”

But Cheika de­clared that this is no prece­dent de­ci­sion, and no other play­ers will be given early re­leases. “It won’t hap­pen again,” Cheika said. “Guys have been put in awk­ward po­si­tions by their man­age­ment. When I spoke to Toulon about Gill they didn’t know he was con­tracted un­til De­cem­ber 31. “Maybe the agents haven’t taken the ARU se­ri­ously. “One of these guys was say­ing that if it doesn’t hap­pen he’s go­ing to take le­gal ac­tion against us. I don’t know where they get off.

“It’s only that we’re be­ing nice peo­ple that they are able to ful­fil those [overseas con­tracts]. Stuff

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.