Cross-code blockbuster: All Blacks could face Kangaroos
NEWS: Talks are underway to stage a historic cross-code rugby international match between New Zealand’s All Blacks and Australia’s Kangaroos, it was revealed Thursday.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga told Brisbane’s Courier-Mail there had been “serious negotiations” to set up the clash for December as both Rugby Union and Rugby League look for ways to recoup losses from the COVID-19 enforced shutdown.
“We are still in talks but obviously news of this has got out,” Meninga said.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) boss Mark Robinson confirmed his team were in talks, although he said his priority was salvaging as many Rugby Union Tests as possible in 2020.
“We’ve had an approach. We’ll work that through and go through the proper process… if we feel it has merit to take further,” Robinson told local media.
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Meninga said he was keen to pit his 13-a-side stars against the might of New Zealand’s XV-a-side game.
“I’m keen to make this happen. We want to play the All Blacks, hopefully we can get the concept off the ground,” Meninga said.
“The best from our game versus the best from the New Zealand game… let’s do it.”
The Test would be a 14-a-side match on December 5 in Australia and could potentially become a regular blockbuster biannual fixture.
“We’ve had the option put to us of this hybrid game with the Kangaroos,” said Robinson.
“And it’s one of many different scenarios in a unique year like this that we are considering with being innovative and having a focus on trying to consider revenue-generating ideas at this time given the financial climate that we’re in.”
Both NZR and Australian Rugby League have lost millions of dollars due to the coronavirus pandemic, with borders closed and Test matches cancelled.
If the clash goes ahead, it would likely attract significant interest. The All Blacks are a global brand while the Kangaroos are the current Rugby League world champions.