All Blacks threaten Rugby World Cup 2015 boycott

All Blacks threaten RWC 2015 boycott
© PA Photos
NZRU chief Steve Tew threatens a Rugby World Cup 2015 boycott if commercial restrictions on teams are not changed.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief Steve Tew has said that the All Blacks could refuse to participate in the 2015 Rugby World Cup if commercial restrictions imposed on teams are not changed.

Tew said International Rugby Board rules penalised major unions in World Cup years because of changes to Test schedules and the fact that teams are not allowed to promote their sponsors during the tournament.

However, Tew has said that a decision on taking such drastic action as a boycott would not be made lightly.

"That's obviously a last resort and our style is to be consultative, collaborative and to try to work with everybody to find a solution," he told Radio New Zealand.

"It's putting pressure on the balance sheet and frankly, in the current environment, we just can't afford to run a World Cup-year loss, nor do we think it's necessary."

Tew said solutions the IRB could consider to avoid unions making a loss at World Cups include changing the tournament date or paying more money to participating unions.

The NZRU chief claimed that he had been pressuring the IRB for changes for eight years and had gone public to try to ensure the issue is finalised by 2015.

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