Wellington (AFP)

It's the return of a "traditional" match in the land of the All Blacks: on August 29 at Eden Park in Auckland, the two main islands of New Zealand will face each other in a North-South duel once widely followed, confirmed XV National Assistant Coach Brad Moaar.

"It really is a traditional match, played for the first time in 1897 and then almost every year until 1986, outside of the war years," Moaar said on the All Blacks website on Wednesday, revealing the name coaches chosen for the duel.

The North XV will be led by Wellington Hurricanes coach John Plumtree and All Blacks defense coach Scott McLeod.

The representatives of the southern island will be led by Moaar and Greg Feek, responsible for melee within the selection.

The shock will take place at Eden Park in Auckland, on the northern island.

The announcement of this meeting, formerly long awaited but whose aura has waned with the professionalization of rugby, comes as the players of the oval ball seek to agree on the international calendar, upset by the Covid pandemic- 19.

Relatively spared from the virus, New Zealand began to welcome supporters in its stadiums in mid-June. On the 14th, more than 43,000 people attended the Blues' victory over the Hurricanes in Auckland, and the public should therefore be allowed to flock to Eden Park for the North-South duel at the end of August.

But the pandemic has taken its toll worldwide (more than 512,000 dead Wednesday evening, according to the assessment established by AFP), and the All Blacks test-matches against Wales and Scotland, scheduled for July, have been canceled.

To bail out the coffers of the New Zealand Federation and its Australian counterpart, severely affected by the health situation, discussions are underway between the two authorities to organize an unprecedented exhibition match between the All Blacks and the Kangaroos, the Australian selection of XIII rugby.

© 2020 AFP