The six-point plan to save New Zealand rugby

David Moffett, the former chief executive of the New Zealand Rugby Union, has outlined his five-point plan to save rugby in New Zealand.

The All Blacks are in disarray on and off the field and are in the midst of their worst run of form in a generation following a first ever home test series defeat to Ireland and their heaviest defeat against South Africa in 94 years. As a result, head coach Ian Foster’s job is hanging by the thinnest of threads, while the governance of the New Zealand Rugby Union also under fire.

Moffett, who was responsible for the biggest overhaul in the history of the Welsh Rugby Union when he originally formed five professional regions during his time as CEO, has put forward his plan for New Zealand to Telegraph Sport.

  • Remove NZRU chief executive Mark Robinson, replacing him with a more experienced CEO
  • Relieve Ian Foster of his duties as head coach and appoint Scott Robertson as his replacement
  • Restructure the governance of the game in New Zealand by accelerating the Silverlake deal
  • Look for an alternative tournament to Super Rugby
  • Appoint a new public relations team to make the NZRU more accountable
  • Rigorous focus on the way talent is identified and brought through

‘The chief executive has made a mess of five or six important issues’

Despite Foster taking most of the flack, Moffett insists the buck stops with the chief executive Mark Robinson. The 75-year-old believes Robinson has got most of his decisions wrong since replacing Steve Tew in 2019.

“The first thing I would do is sack the chief executive because he’s made a mess of five or six extremely important issues,” he said.

“They appointed Robinson off the back of a few seasons as CEO of Taranaki Rugby Union. They basically said don’t worry about your lack of experience we’ll make you CEO of the organization in New Zealand which has got the highest profile, and a 100 million dollar plus turnover, and you can learn on the job.

“This guy hasn’t got the ability to be a chief executive officer. I’ve always been a fan of Phillip Browne the former CEO of the Irish Rugby football Union, but I doubt they’ll go for him. It must be someone who understands rugby and is accountable for his or her actions.”

‘They need to lay off the whole PR department… the chief executive isn’t getting the right advice’

Former All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen recently accused the NZRU of presiding over a series of failures and claimed the relationship between the All Blacks players and the board was “the worst it’s ever been.”

After Hansen’s comments and their test series defeat in Ireland Foster was left to face the media on his own, with Robinson not fronting up once.


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