All Blacks head coach Ian Foster has revealed the criteria for the North Island versus South Island clash that will double up as an All Blacks trial.
The clash is set to take place on August 29, a fortnight after the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa with the coaches for the teams and a ground for the game yet to be finalised.
Confirming the news on the All Blacks' social media platforms, Foster said that players would be eligible for either the North or South Island side depending on which province they made their first-class debut for.
"We're firming up a date and we've got to sort the ground out. We've got to find some hotels that aren't being used for [Covid-19] quarantining, that's not easy," Foster said in a video posted to allblacks.com.
"We've looked at it and we think the best legacy thing for us to do is pick players on the first province that they played for because that was probably the start of their move into the professional game. We think that's the best criteria."
The ruling from the All Blacks means a player like Jack Goodhue will play for the South Island instead of the North Island despite being schooled on the North Island and currently represents Northland. Goodhue made his provincial debut for Canterbury before making the switch later in his careers with the likes of Braydon Ennor in a similar situation.
Foster also said that the game would double as an All Blacks trial match and said they could name the All Blacks squad to face the Wallabies in a four-match Bledisloe Cup series the day after the clash with the first test pencilled in for mid October.
Do you agree or should it be based on the school the player went to?🤔 pic.twitter.com/294nwTOvAY— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) June 26, 2020
“No, we won’t pick [the All Blacks] before that game, at this stage. All plans are pretty fluid but we felt, let Super Rugby play out and just enjoy it that. Then we’ll get into a North/South game.
“It might even be a little bit old school, that it’s the day after the North/South game we have the old Sunday morning media conference and announce the team.”
Foster said that he couldn’t confirm who would be coaching the two sides but that the All Black coaches were likely to get involved.
The North v South rivalry has been neglected in recent years, only taking place twice since 1985, the last of which took place in 2012 with the South winning 32–24.