All Blacks v Roos: Secret talks for cross-code blockbuster
The New Zealand All Blacks and Mal Meninga's Australia Kangaroos are set to make sporting history by squaring off in a multimillion-dollar, cross-code Christmas blockbuster this year.
News Corp Australia can reveal New Zealand Rugby and the National Rugby League are in top-secret negotiations to stage a hybrid, 14-a-side international in one of the most significant moments in the 150-year history of trans-Tasman sport.
The cross-code spectacular will be branded and marketed as … HISTORY.
The concept has been kept secret for the past three months but it has been revealed the NZR and NRL are locked in talks with promoters to pit All Blacks players against Kangaroos stars before Christmas this year.
The contest has been slated for Saturday, December 5 - three weeks after this year's State of Origin series.
After a decade of speculation around hybrid concepts between the Wallabies and Kangaroos that never took off, this is the real deal.
The NZR want the game to happen and are so supportive they discussed the Kangaroos blockbuster at a board meeting on Tuesday.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga has been in talks with ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys, who has received a formal proposal and is dissecting the financials around the proposed Kangaroos-All Blacks concept.
On Wednesday Meninga confirmed the proposed All Blacks-Kangaroos clash.
"We are in serious negotiations," he said.
.Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Every game of every round Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
"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."
The All Blacks are one of the most iconic brands in world sport, while the Kangaroos are the reigning World Cup holders in rugby league with a tradition that is 112 years old.
Now the trans-Tasman sporting powerhouses are ready to collide in one of the most compelling sporting contests of the past 50 years.
Venues are being discussed with Queensland's Suncorp Stadium, Sydney's ANZ Stadium, Perth's Optus Stadium and South Australia's Adelaide Oval among the leading options to host the cross-code spectacular.
Meninga has urged V'landys to give the game the green light. V'landys himself believes the All Blacks-Kangaroos clash can be bigger than State of Origin and can become a regular biannual fixture.
Meninga is a huge supporter of the concept and last week consulted Australian players on whether they would be interested in playing a one-off Test against New Zealand.
What Kangaroos players weren't aware of is that the proposed end-of-year Test is against the New Zealand … All Blacks.
The COVID-19 crisis has decimated the revenue streams of the NZR and the NRL, another reason why New Zealand Rugby powerbrokers are keen to play the Kangaroos considering the millions that would be generated.
The Tongan rugby league has offered Australia $250,000 to play a league game this year but Meninga is keen to take the Kangaroos to a global audience of more than one billion people by taking on the All Blacks.
V'landys received an initial offer on Monday with the ARL Commission expected to make a final decision in the next fortnight.
But if the NZR agree to sign on the dotted line, which appears a certainty, that will almost certainly convince V'landys to follow suit.