Ben McKay
February 17, 2022 5:07AM

New Zealand Rugby finally has its much-craved cash injection after reaching a deal with the players union to sell a minority stake in the governing body.

The NZ Rugby (NZR) board announced the deal on Thursday morning, which will see private equity firm Silver Lake invest an initial $NZ200 million ($A186 million) to own 5.71 per cent of NZR's commercial arms.

The deal comes after months of tense debate, with players blocking previous efforts for any private ownership of the All Blacks, which have always been wholly publicly owned.

NZR chairman Stewart Mitchell said the funding "marks the beginning of a transformational phase for the entire game" in New Zealand.

"The journey to get here hasn't been easy at times," Mr Mitchell said.

"There was healthy debate and some adjustments by all parties, but always with the good of the game at the heart of this process ... We are proud of where we have landed with this partnership."

NZR insists it will retain "full control" of its rugby and commerical strategies, with Silver Lake to stay a minority investor.

The talks between NZR and the players union (NZRPA) have also yielded a new collective agreement, details of which are yet to be shared.

The deal consolidates all of NZR's "revenue-generating assets" into a new commercial entity that Silver Lake will invest in.

The American firm's 5.71 per cent stake is a smaller share than proposals mooted earlier in the process, but has the potential to grow to 8.58 per cent with another $NZ100 million ($A93 million) investment.

NZR, NZRPA and Silver Lake will also create an international rugby investment vehicle called "Global Rugby Opportunities" as part of the deal.

The deal must be signed off by the provincial unions and Maori rugby board, with Mr Mitchell anticipating ratification within weeks.