New Zealand have threatened to boycott the 2015 World Cup in England due to a lack of funding throughout the game, writes Graham Clutton.
Steve Tew, chief executive of the NZRU, claimed also that the future of the competition is under serious threat. Tew revealed that competing at the World Cup has cost his union more than €7.5m.
Incoming tours are halted in a World Cup year and competing nations are not allowed to have any association with their sponsors for the duration of the tournament.
The IRB will complete a review of how the World Cup is run by May. However, Tew is adamant that unless significant changes are made, the All Blacks will consider sitting out the 2015 event.
"The major unions lose a significant amount of money by participating in the tournament and that makes absolutely no sense," said Tew.
"It cannot carry on. Frankly the prospects of us going to England in 2015 under the current model are very slim. We cannot continue to sign on for an event that costs us so much money."
One of Tew's complaints is that a union's sponsors are not allowed to have a mention during a World Cup because of potential conflicts with the tournament's backers, a rule drawn up because of the need to maximise profits and generate enough income to develop the game in nations below the top 10. (© Daily Telegraph, London)