Super rugby’s most successful team, the Canterbury Crusaders, will be run by a consortium of provincial unions from next year as the New Zealand Rugby Union continues the partial
privatisation of its clubs.
The licence to operate the Crusaders will be taken up from 1 January by the Crusaders Limited Partnership, a consortium representing the provinces Canterbury, Tasman, South Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, Buller and West Coast.
Mining investor Brent Francis will also inject capital into the club and will take one of six director’s positions on a new board.
The allocation of the Crusaders licence follows the New Zealand union’s move to award a licence to operate the Wellington Hurricanes to the Wellington Rugby Union and a consortium of businessmen.