The licence to operate the Crusaders will be taken up by the Crusaders Limited Partnership from 1 January 2013.
The consortium represents the provinces Canterbury, Tasman, South Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, Buller and West Coast. This is the next move by the New Zealand Rugby Union to initiate the partial privatisation of its Super Rugby franchises. A consortium of businessmen were recently awarded a licence to operate the Hurricanes from next year.
Reports from New Zealand indicate that mining investor Brent Francis will also pump money into the competition’s most successful franchise, and take one of the six director’s positions on the new board.