Tew hopes New Zealand would embrace a gay All Black

Date published: May 31 2016

New Zealand rugby chief executive Steve Tew believes the country is "absolutely" ready for a gay player to play for the All Blacks.

Tew spoke on Tuesday after New Zealand's major sporting bodies had gathered to divise a new system to promote diversity across the country's sports.

Referencing "a great level of sexual diversity" in the New Zealand Womens and Women's Sevens sides, along with referee Nigel Owens taking charge of last year's Rugby World Cup final, Tew added that when the time comes New Zealand would be "absolutely" ready to embrace a gay All Black.

"No one has yet said they're an All Black and gay, one day that will happen and I would hope that New Zealand is more than ready, in fact is welcoming of it" Tew told the Newshub.

"Our job is to nurture a team culture and environment where everybody can come in and be the best possible athlete and person they can be."

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Gareth Thomas became the first openly gay professional rugby union player in 2009, with England Sevens player Sam Stanley was the first English player to do so last year.