New Zealand Rugby chairman Brent Impey has warned newly-elected World Rugby boss Bill Beaumont the Southern Hemisphere nations may go under if he does not immediately change the way the global game is funded.
Impey also says NZ Rugby is seriously considering the concept of privately funded test tours as a way of attempting to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
National rugby bodies, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, have been hit hard by lockdown measures and the sudden halt in play which leaves the Sanzaar nations hurtling towards an unprecedented financial crisis.
Sanzaar's headaches doubled today as they lost their bid to vote in Agustin Pichot as World Rugby chairman, with Beaumont instead retained.
No movement on issues such as revenue-sharing have long frustrated the southern nations who now appear intent on taking matters into their own hands unless Beaumont swiftly delivers on his mandate for change.
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In an interview with Newstalk ZB's Martin Devlin, Impey confirmed seeking private investment to directly fund All Blacks tours was one option under consideration.
"Yes, everything is on the table," Impey said. "The way I look at it is everything that went before is open for question. Yes, with the way finances are being destroyed, with Covid and no play, we are going to require money into the game.
"We would be very unwise to reject the possibility of private investment money coming into our sport – in fact we are actively looking at the best way we can do that for the benefit of all of New Zealand rugby.
"The reason New Zealand and the other Sanzaar countries voted against Bill is there's been no progress for a couple of years such as revenue sharing, eligibility or the rules of the game.
"Covid produces a chance for a total reset. While Bill has won and we've now got to support the winner that is on the condition that there is fundamental change.
"We can't carry on the way we're going. Look at the finances of Rugby Australia, for example. It has got to change.
"If these guys don't get on and make change, if it's four more years of the same, we'll be gone."
As has been widely reported, Impey also believes Samoa and Fiji rejected pleas from their southern neighbours and instead voted for Beaumont because they were promised political sweeteners such as eligibility changes.
"I know from a personal relationship with Gus that he wouldn't do deals. He went on a platform of needing change. There was nothing in the backroom from him so I can only admire the campaign he ran.
"I spoke to the chair and CEO of Fiji and the sports minister of Samoa. All we know is Bill Beaumont met representatives of Fiji and Samoa in Tokyo at the Rugby World Cup – we don't know what's been offered.
"Gus made it very clear in his campaign that he wasn't making deals and would only campaign for change."