A cross-code clash between the All Blacks and the Kangaroos, Australia’s rugby league national team, could take place at the end of the year.
The proposal of this hybrid match was put forward by promoter Dean Lonergan and it is said that it is under consideration by both New Zealand Rugby and the Australian Rugby League.
Sport and rugby in both codes, in particular, have taken a significant financial hit in both Australia and New Zealand and the staging of this historic clash could provide a timely boost in the coffers of both sporting administrations.
New Zealand Rugby boss Ben Robinson has said that the priority is for the All Blacks to host Test matches in rugby union but that a potential cross-code clash with the Kangaroos is also being considered.
“We must be very clear that our priority is for the All Blacks to play international rugby for the remainder of the year and we’ve talked about the uncertainty around that,” Robinson said.
“But 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 are considering with being innovative and having a focus on trying to consider revenue-generating ideas at this time given the financial climate that we’re in.”
How the game would actually work remains to be seen. Whether the match would consist of one half of union rules and one half of league rules or whether a brand new set of laws are introduced is as of yet unclear.
Craig Bellamy, who is the head coach of NRL side, Melbourne Storm, outlined his concern of league players adapting to union rules.
“Someone said they’d have rugby union rules for one half and rugby league for another half,” Bellamy said. “I wouldn’t like to be a rugby league player at the bottom of one of them mauls. That’d be an ugly place to be if you’re not used to it.”