Thu. Sep 24th, 2020

New Zealand mull cross-code clash between All Blacks and Kangaroos

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said that the hybrid match against Rugby League’s Kangaroos was one of a number of revenue-generating ideas that were on the table.

new zealand mull cross code clash between all blacks and kangaroos 1024x683 - New Zealand mull cross-code clash between All Blacks and Kangaroos

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) have confirmed talks that a cross-code exhibition clash between the All Blacks and rugby league’s Australia Kangaroos is an option they are exploring.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said that the hybrid match against the number two nation on the International Rugby League rankings was one of a number of revenue-generating ideas that were on the table.

All Blacks vs Kangaroos on the cards

Robinson said that the ideal scenario would involve a busy end to the year on the international front but that revenue lost from the scrapping of competitions had left them exploring every option to generate interest.

The League code is very popular in Australia and has a decent support base across the Tasman as well with the two nations heading their World Rankings. The Kangaroos are Rugby League’s reigning world champions.

“We must be very clear that our priority is for the All Blacks to play international rugby for the remainder of the year and we’ve talked about the uncertainty around that,” he said.

“But we’ve had the option put to us of this hybrid game with the Kangaroos 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.”

Kangaroos chomping at the bit

For the Australian national Rugby League team this represents an opportunity to showcase their talents to the new audience that a match against the globally popular All Blacks would bring.

“We are in serious negotiations,” Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga said.

“We are still in talks but obviously news of this has got out.

“I’m keen to make this happen. We want to play the All Blacks, hopefully we can get the concept off the ground.

“This would take the Kangaroos to the world. There will be global recognition. The best from our game versus the best from the New Zealand game… let’s do it.”

New Zealand hopeful on Championship

Robinson said that New Zealand were hopeful that the Rugby Championship could take place later this year but would not put out any suggestion of when.

abe289ef new zealand rugby - New Zealand mull cross-code clash between All Blacks and Kangaroos
Sevu Reece of the All Blacks is tackled during The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies at Eden Park on August 17, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The NZR boss did reveal that the All Blacks might meet the Wallabies in a Bledisloe Cup Test on 10 October. It is unclear where the cross-code exhibition would fit into a congested calendar.

“There are a number of variations to possible Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship competitions, we’re simply not in a position to finalise any of that yet with any certainty,” Robinson said.

“We’re just working through more details on that. We’re still working through a whole lot of scenarios around the trans-Tasman bubble – border, quarantine, isolation and all those sorts of things.

“Based on some tentative dates of Bledisloe Cup, very tentative the way this is moving, 10 October could be a date for the first one.”

Latest sports news headlines, results and highlights

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *