NZ Rugby alleges players association attempting to destroy $387.5m Silver Lake deal

New Zealand's rugby players have ramped up their campaign backing an alternative to the $387.5 million offer from American equity giants Silver Lake to buy a 12.5 per cent stake in the Kiwi game, leading the NZR to lash back alleging a breach of trust.

A memo from the New Zealand Rugby Players Association has gone out on Friday to directors of NZ Rugby and provincial union chairs detailing advice they had commissioned from Forsyth Barr around an alternative capital raising option.

David Kirk, the association president, is chairman of Forsyth Barr.

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson swiftly attacked the memo as having leaked confidential information without permission, a breach of trust, and a bid to destroy the Silver Lake proposal.

That approach would sell 5 per cent of NZR's revenue-generating assets to the Kiwi public and institutions via a stock exchange-listed entity. 

The memo says that "raising a significant amount of private capital through an NZX-listed Initial Public Offer at a higher valuation than that offered by Silver Lake is a highly achievable option for NZR". Anyone can buy NZX shares, overseas investors among them.

The memo brought an immediate reaction from Robinson, who said he was "shocked and disappointed" players' boss Rob Nichol "has shared another counter proposal with media before sharing it with New Zealand Rugby".

"As such we have not had sufficient time to digest or understand what has been proposed or comment on the detail," he said.

"Further, it includes confidential information about our organisation that we have not consented to being made public or shared with Forsyth Barr or any other professional entity.

"This is a fundamental breach of trust and the partnership which up until now we valued highly.