MANLY chief executive Graham Lowe has fired a shot at rival code rugby union, claiming the 15-a-side game is on the nose in New Zealand.
Blast ... Graham Lowe. Source: The Daily Telegraph
He told The Daily Telegraph that the sport which was once a religion in New Zealand is seriously struggling for popularity.
"It seems to me that rugby union is under the hammer in New Zealand," Auckland-born Lowe said. "You talk to the man in the street, ardent rugby union fans, and they will tell you how disappointed they are with the product. There's no doubt about it.
"In all my life, I don't think I've ever seen rugby union under as much scrutiny as it is at the moment in New Zealand. The NRL will only make it more difficult for union over here because the NRL is seen as an excitement machine."
Manly are looking to cash in on the situation after clinching a deal which will see all the club's NRL matches screened on New Zealand's No. 1 free-to-air sporting channel, Maori TV, every Monday at 9.30pm.
"We reckon it will further expand Manly's name and certainly increase our membership and merchandising," Lowe said.