Canes still hoping to tempt Taranaki's finest

JONATHAN MILLMOW
Last updated 05:02 11/12/2013
Beauden Barrett
Getty Images
TARANAKI TRUE: Beauden Barrett of the Taranaki province plays for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby.

Relevant offers

Super Rugby

Chiefs finalise coaching team for next two Super Rugby seasons Trade Me says it can't do anything about Super Rugby scalpers Hurricanes promise more tickets, more seats as scalpers cash in Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles says Highlanders pack equal to any in Super Rugby Million dollar baby for Hurricanes after second Super Rugby sell out Highlanders to win Super Rugby final by nine, Dunedin oracle says Hurricanes to give Ardie Savea time to prove fitness for Super Rugby final Referee Review: Was Craig Joubert really the 16th Highlander? All-New Zealand Super Rugby finals over the years - four Kiwi title deciders Hurricanes fan picks wrong time to give up season tickets

The Hurricanes are still hopeful of luring the next Beauden Barrett to their Wellington base despite Taranaki jumping into bed with the Chiefs.

Hurricanes chief executive James Te Puni said he was "disappointed but not surprised" by the announcement yesterday that Taranaki is breaking off 17 years of tradition to try their luck elsewhere.

Time will tell whether the general flow of Taranaki players switches to Hamilton rather than Wellington, but Te Puni seems unfazed.

He said professional rugby's new model meant players went where they were required or best suited rather than showing loyalty to their nearest franchise.

"Our research shows us that the Hurricanes are still the No 1 Super rugby team as far as Taranaki people are concerned, and we are hopeful that support will continue in the same way as when we go to Auckland there is a fan base of Canes supporters," Te Puni said.

"We still hope to see the next Beauden Barrett running out in a Hurricanes jersey. As far as provincial unions are concerned, players are playing all over the country these days. We are hoping that the tradition of players from under the mountain looking to the Canes continues."

When Taranaki's move to the Chiefs became increasingly likely, Te Puni tabled a new deal that would have resulted in Taranaki hosting two Hurricanes games next season.

"We put a strong offer to them. We were prepared to take a couple of games to New Plymouth each year," Te Puni said.

"[But] they had made a decision to go the Chiefs. I want the fans in Taranaki to know we put the best foot forward in terms of games.

"We would've preferred Taranaki to stay within the family of nine [Hurricanes' provinces]."

Predictably, there were immediate grizzles in the Waikato region about 'losing' two Chiefs games to New Plymouth next season.

Next year's home games to be played in New Plymouth will be against the Blues on Friday, May 9, and the Waratahs three weeks later on Saturday, May 31. Waikato Stadium will host the other six home games with Pukekohe and Mt Maunganui missing out.

The details of the new Chiefs ownership model was announced by New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew.

The Taranaki Rugby Football Union joins the Chiefs as part of a seven-year licence. In the joint deal, the Chiefs take two home games to New Plymouth in each of the next two seasons.

The Waikato, Counties Manukau, Thames Valley, Bay of Plenty, King Country and Taranaki provincial unions will provide 50 per cent of a $3.3 million investment in the organisation.

Ad Feedback

The other half will be provided by private investors from Waikato, Taranaki and, for the first time in New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, overseas through Mauritius-based Chiefs fan and businessman Eric Series. 

- The Dominion Post

Special offers
Opinion poll

Which 2015 NZ Super Rugby team looks best?

Blues

Chiefs

Crusaders

Highlanders

Hurricanes

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content