Could we soon see Beauden Barrett go head-to-head with Jonathan Thurston? Or Damien McKenzie against Billy Slater? These unthought of scenarios could become a reality as plans are on the way for a historic hybrid match between the world champions of both rugby and league: the All Blacks and the Kangaroos.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph is reporting that Hybrid Rugby chairman Phil Franks has reportedly met with the NZRU chief strategy officer to discuss the proposal.
“I had a formal discussion with New Zealand Rugby and they were really interested,” Franks said. “They stipulated they wanted to see an elite-class game.
NZR have shown preliminary interest and given organisers a window to play the game.
“They are the first to give us a window and a time as to when they want to do it. That window was two weeks to a month after the 2019 World Cup final in Tokyo (on November 2).
The proposed clash would also take place in Tokyo, Japan to further capitalise on potential commercial interest.
“We are absolutely confident we can put it together. This game will be worth $50m. It will be just as big as the final of the World Cup.
“My view is that the teams will share the revenue. They will be getting the lion’s share of the money.
“Let me put it this way, there will be at least $10m for each team. At least. That’s what the game will generate.
The biggest hurdle will be getting both the NRL clubs and NZR to give the blockbuster match-up the green light. The players are contracted to these respective organisations and will need their permission, and the chances of both teams being at full strength at that time of year will be slim.