NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has reportedly "promised" Maori All Stars coach David Kidwell that the annual pre-season game will be played in New Zealand next year.
The NRL All Stars game - which has always featured an Australian Indigenous team, but went to the Indigenous vs Maori concept ahead of the 2019 version - has always been played in Australia so strong crowds.
The last four years has seen the games played AAMI Park in Melbourne, CBus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast, Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville and Saturday evening's game at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta.
The Indigenous team won in 2019, the Maori in 2020 and 2022, and while a draw was the result in 2021, giving the Maori side bragging rights up until now.
With border restrictions leaving the New Zealand Warriors' final home games of the year - which were supposed to be played back in Auckland - up in the air, it could mean the All Stars match is the first match to be played on New Zealand soil in almost three years.
Kidwell said at the post-match press conference that the game would be in New Zealand next year.
“I saw Andrew Abdo at the end of the game and he promised me that we would take the game back to New Zealand next year,” Kidwell said.
“I think that is a great way for us to showcase (to) the Indigenous, our culture.
“We would be happy with that, being able to showcase this game back home in New Zealand that’s for sure.”
Indigenous captain Josh Addo-Carr said at the press conference that it would depend on COVID.
“I have no problem with that, change it up a bit but it just depends on all the Covid stuff,” Addo-Carr said.
“Tomorrow we might be in lockdown, we don’t know, we just don’t know at this stage but that is higher than us I suppose.”