Harlequins and New Zealand Rugby announce cooperation agreement
By Andy Charles
Last Updated: 02/03/18 7:35am
Harlequins have announced a "cooperation agreement" with New Zealand Rugby involving on-field and behind-the-scenes links.
The Aviva Premiership club will work alongside the world champions on a number of projects involving playing and coaching resources, training and commercial opportunities.
The New Zealand Herald reports the deal could see All Blacks players on sabbatical from international rugby line up for Quins.
All Blacks greats Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Sonny Bill Williams have all previously had sabbaticals built into their New Zealand contracts to try and extend their international careers.
Harlequins chief executive David Ellis said: "I'm delighted to be able to announce Harlequins' strategic partnership with New Zealand Rugby.
"The All Blacks are the benchmark of excellence for all teams, so to be able to align with them both on and off the pitch will be of significant benefit to the club."
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew added: "This is new territory for New Zealand Rugby and this unique relationship will open some useful connections in that part of the world.
"With its strong ex-pat community, London is of key strategic importance to New Zealand Rugby, and when you factor in our shared relationship with adidas, this cooperation agreement is a very natural fit.
"This alignment will create significant opportunities for both sides, with players, coaches and staff able to learn from different environments with different people, challenges and cultures."