June 25, 2020 / 4:24 AM / 18 days ago

All Blacks considering code clash against Kangaroos

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said on Thursday it is interested in a proposal that would see the All Blacks take on Australia’s Kangaroos in a ‘union v league’ clash.

The match has been mooted for Dec. 5 as both codes look to generate much-needed revenue in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown.

“We have had an approach,” NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.

“We’re interested in learning more and ... we will work that through and go through the proper process of making a decision if it has got merit to go further.”

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga told Australian media earlier on Thursday he was keen on the idea for the game, which would involve 14-players on each team.

No other details on what rules the game might be played under have been released.

“We are in serious negotiations,” Meninga told the Courier Mail newspaper.

“This would take the Kangaroos to the world. There will be global recognition.

“The best from our game versus the best from the New Zealand game ... let’s do it.”

While NZR was interested in the idea, Robinson said it was one of many opportunities presented to his organisation as they seek to recoup lost revenue following the COVID-19 shutdown and with international rugby in doubt for the rest of the year.

Robinson added that the priority was to get the All Blacks playing rugby union tests but it was too early to determine how the Bledisloe Cup tests against the Wallabies or the southern hemisphere’s Rugby Championship would be played out.

“We’re not still not able to finalise anything yet,” he said. “There are still a lot of issues around a trans-Tasman bubble, the border and quarantine.”

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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