NZRU to focus on Auckland development

Last updated 16:01 26/03/2013
Steve Tew
Getty Images
STEVE TEW: "It's [2012] right up there with 2005 which was then called by the chairman at the time, Mr [Jock] Hobbs, as an extraordinary year."

Relevant offers


Stats are not favourable but All Blacks brush off goal kicking concerns at the Rugby World Cup Sir Graham Henry says Australia are the team to beat as Rugby World Cup Lancaster has done wonders and should stay, says Farrell Hakarena man Matt Dawson now wants a Kiwi to save 'laughing stock' England 'Haunted' hotel spooks Wales ahead of Wallabies clash Beale the unintentional architect of England's demise? Potential date with All Blacks on the minds of Irish ahead of World Cup clash with France Waisake Naholo one of three injured All Blacks to sit out World Cup training Japan sets Rugby World Cup record TV audience with 25m viewers Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones admits England rugby job interests him

The New Zealand Rugby Union is putting special emphasis on making gains in Auckland over the next three years, hoping to realise the potential of the country's largest city.

That includes targeting the rapidly growing Asian community to get involved in the sport while aiming to maximise the enormous talents of Auckland's Polynesian population.

The NZRU released a "Towards 2016" paper in Auckland today, outlining their goals through to the next Olympics in Rio.

They listed their six main goals as:

1 All Blacks go back to back at Rugby World Cups in 2015.

2 Two Olympic gold medals in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

3 Rugby in New Zealand is financially healthy and well led.

4 Rugby is the sport of choice in wider Auckland.

5 Rugby brings communities together and is the sport of choice for teenagers.

6 New Zealand rugby has a positive global presence.

Most are stating the obvious but the extra attention on Auckland reflects a degree of under-achieving in the dynamic area, both on and off the field.

The NZRU have established an office in the city to help realise the commercial opportunities.

Now they want to try to get things happening at ground level.

"We identified that Auckland is unique and special," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said, adding there were many challenges.

The attractive Asian and Polynesian elements of the area's population meant "a one size fits all policy won't work," Tew said.

But he emphasised the development programme for Auckland wouldn't come "at the expense of rugby in the rest of the country".

North Harbour have long struggled for results, Auckland have finally shown signs of a resurgence at NPC level while Counties-Manuaku have only just lifted themselves out of the second tier at that level.

The Blues' problems at Super Rugby level since 2003 have been well documented.

Tew said discussions were already under way with the three unions to look at getting the best out of the game there, including schools rugby, the women's game and how the Asian market could be tapped.

Broad details of their plan for Auckland stressed the city needed to have first class facilities; be financially strong; have increased participation of players, coaches and referees to similar levels of other provinces; and have representative teams that are winning competitions.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content