South Canterbury support for revamp

Last updated 05:00 20/12/2012

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South Canterbury rugby chairman Brent Isbister is happy with the revamp to the Crusaders franchise that sees Brent Francis come in as the new investor.

Isbister agrees there will be little change for the fans.

"It is a good outcome for rugby and everyone is still involved. Our ownership, which is based on player numbers, remains at around 11 per cent."

The Canterbury Rugby Union had 60 per cent, Tasman 18, Mid-Canterbury 5, with Buller and West Coast 3 per cent each, he said.

Isbister said the changes would not result in any financial impact either way for the union. "It is business as usual," he said.

South Canterbury will also not benefit from the NZRU's new AIG sponsorship.

Isbister said while it put the NZRU on a firm footing South Canterbury's grant from the national body would remain at around the same level of $187,000.

"It equates to $45 per player for those over 21, plus the usual grants."

On the Heartland competition, Isbister said the review had started but he expected little in the way of change.

"Most unions are pretty happy, so I am not expecting any significant changes."

He was not prepared to comment on the number of loan players likely to be allowed until after the review was complete, which he expected would be early in the new year.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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