New Zealand Rugby Union

New Zealand Rugby Union
Image by Tim Mossholder from Pexels

The New Zealand Rugby Union Incorporated (NZRU) is the governing body of rugby union in New Zealand. It was founded in 1892 as the New Zealand Rugby Football Union (NZRFU), 12 years after the first provincial unions in New Zealand. In 1949 it became an affiliate to the International Rugby Football Board, now known as World Rugby, the governing body of rugby union for the world. It dropped the word “Football” from its name in 2006. The brand name New Zealand Rugby (NZR) was adopted in 2013.

The organisation’s main objectives, as displayed in the NZRU Constitution, are to promote and develop rugby throughout New Zealand; arrange and participate in international, trial and other rugby matches and tours in New Zealand and overseas; represent New Zealand on the International Rugby Board; form and manage New Zealand representative teams; and encourage participation in, and support for, rugby players and supporters at all levels of the game. NZR Headquarters are located in Wellington, New Zealand, with an office in Auckland.

New Zealand Rugby’s purpose is to lead, grow, support and promote New Zealand’s game. It strives for rugby teams in black that are unrivalled, a high performance system that produces the world’s best talent, competitions that fans love, and a community game that is strong and cherished. It is committed to New Zealand rugby being financially secure, attracting top partners and contributing actively to the global game.

There are currently 11 NZRU Board members. The President, David Rhodes, was elected in 2015. The President may attend Board meetings but is not a Board member and cannot vote on Board matters. Steve Tew is the current chief executive and Sir Brian Lochore is the current Patron.

Charged with fostering, developing, administering, promoting and representing the game of rugby in New Zealand, NZR’s responsibilities include supporting community and provincial rugby, delivering national competitions including the ITM Cup, Pink Batts Heartland Championship and Women’s Provincial Championship. It also delivers Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand and manages Test matches in New Zealand, including the Investec Rugby Championship. Additionally, it manages and resourcing its national teams: the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Maori All Blacks, All Blacks Sevens, New Zealand Women’s Sevens, New Zealand Under 20, the Heartland XV and the Junior All Blacks.