The kings of rugby union against those of XIII? Discussions are underway to organize an unprecedented exhibition match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Kangaroos, we learned on Thursday from the two selections.
This meeting with the still vague outlines could take place on December 5 in Australia with 14 players against 14. It wants to be based as much on the geographical rivalry between Australians and New Zealanders as on that historic between the two forms of rugby.
It is mainly intended to replenish the coffers of the two federations damaged by the cancellations of games following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The head of the New Zealand rugby federation, Mark Robinson, has confirmed that talks will be held, although his priority will be to play as many XV games in 2020.
"We were offered the option of this hybrid match. This is one of the many possible scenarios for a unique year like this where we want to be innovative in coming up with income-generating ideas," said Mr. Robinson to the New Zealand media.
"We are going to work on it and see if this idea deserves to go further," he said carefully.
Mal Meninga, the coach of the Australian world champion team, told him to the Courier-Mail of Brisbane to be "impatient for this to happen" and "hope to take off this concept".
Kangaroos vice-captain Daly Cherry-Evans said he was in favor even though he has "absolutely no idea how it would work." "It sounds fun, so I'm ready to do it," he said.
Craig Bellamy, coach of the Melbourne Storm XIII squad, does not know more and says he has heard of "the rules of rugby for half and rugby XIII for the other".
If the rules of the game do not seem fixed, the organizers are already thinking of making it a biennial lucrative event.
NZR and Australian Rugby League have both lost millions of dollars due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are looking for workarounds
After the postponement of the Rugby championship, which opposes New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina each year, the All Black plan to play four matches only against their Australian neighbors.
The Kangaroos were to play three test matches in England in October and November, replaced by matches against Australian provinces of rugby XIII.
© 2020 AFP