Cape Town - The Canterbury Rugby Union and Crusaders have bought minority ownership stakes in an American professional team, the Seattle Seawolves.
The Seattle Seawolves was formed last year and will play in the Major Rugby League (MRL), the new North American professional tournament which starts in April.
The Canterbury Rugby Union is the Crusaders' major stakeholder and both organisations said their aim is to help develop players for the Seawolves.
"As the oldest rugby organisation in New Zealand we are excited to have secured a small stake in the future of professional rugby in the US," Canterbury Rugby CEO Nathan Godfrey told Stuff.
"We look forward to sharing our expertise of developing some of the world's best rugby players with the Seawolves."
The Seawolves play their first MRL game on April 22 against San Diego Legion in Tukwila.