The opportunity to manage and operate a New Zealand-based Super Rugby team has received five expressions of interest according to the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Four of the five Super Rugby franchises - Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes and Crusaders - have been made available and expressions of interest invited, with at least one offer coming in for each franchise.
"We are heartened by the interest shown, which underlines the attractiveness of the franchises as a commercial proposition," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew told APNZ. "Given this was a step into the unknown we have every reason to be encouraged."
Due to the commercial nature of the process the NZRU were unable to release details on each proposal. The next step is for a shortlist of potential licence holders to be drawn up and those candidates will be asked to make a formal offer.
"This process aims to provide opportunities for license holders to inject fresh ideas and capital, and that can only be good if we're to ensure the Super Rugby franchise model is viable for the long term," Tew added.
The objective is for new licence holders to be in place for the 2013 season.
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