A history-making, multi-million dollar, cross-code clash between the New Zealand All Blacks and Mal Meninga’s Australia Kanagroos is set to take place before Christmas this year, according to News Corp Australia.
Over the past three months, secret negotiations have taken place between New Zealand Rugby and National Rugby League to stage a hybrid 14-a-side international match.
The concept has been marketed as ‘history’ and is seen as one of the most significant moments in the 150-year history of trans-Tasman sport.
The match-up is likely to happen on Saturday 5th December, three weeks after this year’s State of Origin series ends.
Over the last ten years, speculation around similar match ups between the Wallabies and the Kangaroos have fizzled into non-existences. This is seen as the real deal.
The NZR have spoken about the potential December blockbuster at Wednesday’s board meeting. Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has been in contact with ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys, who has received a formal proposal and is currently looking at the financial figures, about the concept.
Meninga has confirmed the negotiations are taking pace.
“We are in serious negotiations,” Meninga told News Corp Australia.
“This would take the Kangaroos to the world. There will be global recognition.
“We are still in talks but obviously news of this has got out.
“I’m keen to make this happen. We want to play the All Blacks, hopefully we can get the concept off the ground.
“The best from our game versus the best from the New Zealand game… let’s do it.”
Meninga has pushed V’landys to give the match-up the go-ahead. He is a huge supporter of the concept and has even checked in with the Australian players about their interest in playing a one-off test match against New Zealand.
It is believed V’landys sees the All-Blacks-Kangaroos clash as being bigger than the State of Origin and become a regular biannual fixture.
Hosting duties are being discussed with Queensland’s Suncorp Stadium, Sydney’s ANZ Stadium, Perth’s Optus Stadium and South Australia’s Adelaide Oval.
Both NZR and NRL have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The clash between the All Blacks and Kangaroos could bring in millions of dollars.
The Tongan rugby league has offered Australia $250,000 to play a league game this year, but Meninga wants to bring the Kangaroos to a global audience by taking on the All Blacks.
The initial offer was given to Peter V’landys on Monday, with the ARL Commission expected to make a final decision in two weeks time. If the NZR agree to sign off on the offer, V’landys is expected to follow suit.