New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson has revealed discussions about the revival of the North Island vs South Island clash are well underway.
As international travel remains a murky prospect due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, speculation has been rife about the return of one of former traditional fixture that was played almost annually until 1986.
Since then, the inter-island clash has only taken place twice, but uncertainty surrounding All Blacks fixtures this year and the re-jigging of the domestic Super Rugby campaign has afforded Kiwi officials an opportunity to re-evaluate this season’s rugby calendar.
Among the touted fixtures are a potential All Blacks trial, while the North vs South clash has also been widely discussed.
Speaking to Newshub earlier this week, Robinson said both concepts are being considered seriously, especially the North vs South match, which he says has Kiwi players excited.
“Those potential fixtures are being talked about,” says Robinson. “Now that we have this timeline locked in around Super Rugby, we can probably firm up around those particular fixtures, and I know the players are pretty excited around particularly the North v South game.
“There has been some talk around the qualification on what those two teams may look like and we will continue to work through those discussions.”
Potential eligibility options include which islands the players were born, where they went to school and what province they first represented or currently play for.
With the newly-announced Super Rugby Aotearoa set for kick-off on June 13, Robinson said NZR has now set its sights on solidifying its options for potential international fixtures.
“All levels of the game we are focused on trying to support at the moment.
“It’s nice to have a plan locked in around Super Rugby, we are firmed up around the Mitre 10 Cup later in the year, and we are having ongoing discussions around the Farah Palmer Cup and a potential Black Ferns programme.
“The All Blacks are obviously a part of that as well.
“The later in the year we go, the more uncertainty remains and we start floating different scenarios.”
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