Plans for a historic cross-code clash between the All Blacks and the Kangaroos are reportedly back on after being dubbed “dead in the water” last month.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Australian Rugby League Commission will consider the concept in the coming weeks and the game has the backing of NRL coaches Trent Robinson and Wayne Bennett. The newspaper reports the match would be a potential pay-per-view event with an A$8m payday for the NRL.
The newspaper reports the match would likely take place in December at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, on the proviso Queensland remains Covid-free.
Last month NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson confirmed the All Blacks were in talks to play in the potentially lucrative cross-code clash later this year.
“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,” Mark Robinson said last month.
“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 given then financial climate we’re in.”
The initial report month suggested the forecasted turnover for the All Blacks-Kangaroos clash could be over $15 million, a crucial source of profit during the uncertain economic times due to the pandemic.
But NZ Rugby has insisted that its rugby calendar will take priority before any plans for a hybrid clash against the Kangaroos.
New Zealand Rugby are yet to firm up their test schedule for 2020 which has been heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. They have already had to postpone home tests against Wales and Scotland and as well as the Northern Tour at the end of the year.
Plans for New Zealand to host the Rugby Championship later in the year were given the green light by World Rugby last week while there has also been tentative schedules set for an extended Bledisloe Cup series. However everything remains up in the air due to the ramifications of the pandemic and its impact in South Africa, Argentina and parts of Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald last month said the potential All Blacks-Kangaroos concept was ‘dead in the water’ but the possible financial benefits and backing of the likes of Bennett, Trent Robinson and Meninga could sway the ARL.
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