Dreadful photoshopping aside, it does raise some serious questions.
The NZRU is a sporting body. Why would it give tacit approval to one political party at this stage in the Electoral cycle? Note how it fits into the “Team Key” slogan being adopted by National Party for this campaign. Leader of the pack indeed.
What on earth has the NZRU got to gain from this? They run the national (small n) game, and should be protective of their “sport for all of New Zealand” brand.
Why would Rugby News want to align itself with a political party, or is this the magazine version of clickbait?
Do the players get a say in this? Clearly as professional sports people they are committed to sponsor obligations such as being on the back of buses donning Rexona. But do they have a say in being shown with politicians?
AIG, as primary sponsors of the All Blacks, are obviously associated with any All Black branding. Given their recent issues would they want to be aligned with a political party.
There are probably many more questions; let the state of shock subside to think of them.