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All Blacks might face Kangaroos in cross-code showdown

Rugby World Cup winners New Zealand could face Rugby League’s top team, Australia, in a cross-code encounter which could generate up to AUS$50 million.


According to a report in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph Hybrid Rugby chairman Phil Franks and director Mark Ella have met officials from New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Australian Rugby League to try and reach an agreement so that the Al Blacks and Kangaroos can do battle in a match in Tokyo.

The report states that Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman John Grant “has been informed of the proposed match” and e-mails obtained by the Telegraph “clearly show New Zealand’s interest in the concept”.

Each side are set to receive AUS$10 million or close to AUS$600,000 per player and Franks has reportedly met with NZR chief strategy and operations officer, Nigel Cass, to discuss the proposal while Franks and Ella plan to visit Japan in December to try and secure further funding for the match.

“I had a formal discussion with the New Zealand Rugby Union and they were really interested,” Franks told the Telegraph.

“They stipulated they wanted to see an elite-class game.

“They are the first to give us a window and a time as to when they want to do it. That window was two weeks to a month after the 2019 World Cup final in Tokyo [on November 2].

“We are absolutely confident we can put it together. This game will be worth $50m. It will be just as big as the final of the World Cup.

“There hasn’t been any formal agreement at this stage but you know and I know it’s going to happen.”