New Zealand has announced a new sales deal for 2019, with the sale of its national football team to China.
New Zealand Football said on Thursday it had reached an agreement with Beijing-based Wanda Group to sell the All Blacks to China’s CITIC Group.
Wanda Group, which is also behind the China National Petroleum Corp. and China’s state-run coal company CNOOC, has been working with the All Black Rugby team in New Zealand for the past three years to sell its national rugby team to a Chinese firm.
It is understood the deal is valued at more than $2 billion.
New Zealander Andrew Trimble, who played for the All Blues in their last season in the 2019 World Cup, said the deal was a “good step” in his career and would be a great opportunity for the New Zealand team to grow.
“We’re looking forward to the start of our new season with a new team and new fans,” Trimble said.
The All Blacks had a tumultuous 2019, falling short of a World Cup final, losing the 2019 Rugby World Cup to Wales and finishing the season with just four wins in a row.
They were beaten by New Zealand in the Rugby Championship semi-finals by two points on the scoreboard but managed to escape with a two-point victory in the final.
New England defeated England 22-20 in the last two minutes to retain the Rugby Premiership title, but finished with only three wins from 13 matches.
The 2019 Rugby Premiership final saw the All Whites lose to Wales in Cardiff.
Wang Jianlin, head coach of the All-Black side, said he was looking forward “to the new year” and the club’s first-ever game in China.
“I think it’s an opportunity to really push the team and show the people that we’re really good players and that we have great players on the pitch,” Wang said.
Newcastle’s Michael Cheika said he had no problem with the decision to sell but said the decision was “a bit of a surprise”.
“This is a difficult time in terms of the rugby union landscape.
Wang added that the All Stars squad had been a big hit with fans.””
We’re going to be looking for the right people to come in and help us grow as a team, so it’s a bit of an exciting time.”
Wang added that the All Stars squad had been a big hit with fans.
“This new partnership will help us to continue our growth and continue to grow as the All New Zealand Rugby squad,” he said.
Wang said the All African squad would remain in New York for the first half of the 2019 season, while the All British squad will return to Auckland for the second half of 2019.
“There’s lots of new things coming up for the whole New Zealand squad,” Wang added.