Quins And NZR Strike Up Strategic Co-Operation

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2 March 2018 by Dave Williams

Harlequins have announced a ground-breaking cooperation agreement with New Zealand Rugby, which will see the London side “strategically linked” with the governing body both on the field and behind the scenes. Time will tell exactly how this co-operation manifests itself.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew said: “This is new territory for New Zealand Rugby and this unique relationship will open some useful connections in that part of the world. With its strong ex-pat community, London is of key strategic importance to New Zealand Rugby, and when you factor in our shared relationship with adidas, this cooperation agreement is a very natural fit.

“This alignment will create significant opportunities for both sides, with players, coaches and staff able to learn from different environments with different people, challenges and cultures.”

New Zealand Rugby has recently suffered from a greater flow of talented international players to Europe in their prime. The All Blacks have a policy of not selecting overseas players. There had been some discussion of NZ players taking sabbaticals in Europe on loan from their governing body. This may be the first of many such club co-operations. There is no suggestion that the agreement grants territory exclusivity to Harlequins.

It is unlikely that Harlequins have guaranteed a place in their squad and a limitless budget for every All Black looking for overseas experience. There will also continue to be well-heeled clubs in UK, Ireland and France in the market for players who

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