The All Blacks could face the Kangaroos in a cross-code clash in December, reports emerged from Australia's Courier Mail which stated the All Blacks and the Australian rugby league team would meet in a hybrid international following "top-secret negotiations" between New Zealand Rugby and the National Rugby League.
NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson has since confirmed negotiations are underway for a hybrid 14-a-side match against Australia's rugby league team.
'We've had an approach,' Robinson said. 'We'll work that through and go through the proper process ... if we feel it has merit to take further. It's one of the many different options we are considering.'
Breaking news: All Blacks v Kangaroos ... Secret talks for cross-code blockbuster.— Pete Badel (@badel_cmail) June 25, 2020
Mal Meninga and Peter V'landys have met to discuss a December 5 blockbuster.
NZR held a board meeting yesterday to discuss the historic match. https://t.co/agiCUgDqag
The contest has been slated for Saturday, December 5 — three weeks after this year’s State of Origin series with the All Blacks scheduled to play the Wallabies in a four-match Bledisloe Cup series.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has been in talks with ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, who has received a formal proposal and is dissecting the financials around the proposed Kangaroos-All Blacks concept.
During a wide-ranging conference call with media on Thursday, NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson Robinson confirmed the Kangaroos match was also on the table.
"The concept of the All Blacks playing the Kangaroos later in the year, we must be very clear that our priority is we want the All Blacks to play international rugby for the remainder of the year and we've talked about the uncertainty associated with that," Robinson said.
NZ Rugby confirms talks with NRL about historic All Blacks v Kangaroos cross-code clashhttps://t.co/r33qraT74z— nzherald (@nzherald) June 25, 2020
"But absolutely we've had the option put to us of this hybrid game with the Kangaroos. It's one of many different scenarios in a unique year like this that we're considering, looking to be innovative and having a focus on trying to consider revenue-generating ideas at this time give then financial climate we're in.
In 2016, reports suggested the one-off match could generate each team $10 million.
"The last time New Zealand Rugby had an approach was in 2017 and at that stage for various reasons it wasn't taken any further. We're interested in learning more, as we are a whole range of things that are being put to us at the moment." Robinson said.
The Courier-Mail's chief league writer Pete Badel, who broke the story, revealed some rules set to feature for the clash.
In a reply to a tweet Badel suggested that there would be 14 players a side with No lineouts and rugby league scrums. There would be an eight tackle rolling mauls rule with no rucks.
14 a side. No lineouts. Scrums will be league scrums. Eight tackle rolling mauls with no play the ball. After eighth drive team must kick— Pete Badel (@badel_cmail) June 25, 2020
Other rules to be determined