A potential deal between Taranaki Rugby and the Chiefs could still be several weeks away from being finalised.
Taranaki Rugby chief executive Neil Pennington confirmed nothing had been signed off.
"Contrary to media reports, Taranaki Rugby has not joined the Chiefs franchise at this stage,'' he said.
''However, we are continuing to look at investment opportunities in Super Rugby. Should there be any developments in this area, please be assured we will continue to communicate these to the Taranaki and wider rugby communities formally ourselves."
Pennington has been in China for close to a fortnight as the Beijing Technical College sevens sides compete in a variety of tournaments.
He, along with sevens coaches Willie Rickards and Ben Souness, were not due back until early next month and any deal would not be made in the interim without him.
Although the New Zealand Rugby Union had initially signalled it wanted any deal signed off by September 1, that date was flexible.
Taranaki Rugby has been reluctant to go into any detail publicly about the deal, which would see it invest some of the $608,224 it has in reserves into the Chiefs in an effort to get two Super Rugby games at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium each season.
The Taranaki Daily News understands several private investors have also been invited to take up an offer with the Chiefs after an establishment board was set up.
That would mean a consortium of provincial unions and private investors taking up the marketing arm of the Chiefs, while the NZRU maintains control of the players.
The NZRU have been kept abreast of all the developments and are believed to be happy with its progress and the fact Taranaki looked certain to leave the Hurricanes franchise after an 18-year association.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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