Wallabies v GB hybrid game unlikely

Mon, 09 Dec 2013 16:02
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Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie and ARU CEO Bill Pulver have dismissed reports of a hybrid game against England's Rugby League side next year.

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) CEO Bill Pulver have dismissed reports of a hybrid game against England's Rugby League side at Wembley Stadium next year.

Reports stated that an agreement had been reached between the two codes at a secret meeting in London in November for a hybrid game, which would see teams of 15 players play one half of Rugby Union and teams of 13 players play the other half under Rugby League rules.

Wembley was reportedly booked for the special attraction match for December 6, a week after the Wallabies’ 2014 end-of-year tour, and would reportedly generate up to £10 million through ticket and corporate sales, television, sponsorship and merchandising.

Reports went on to say that the codes would be paid £2.5 million each and that players would earn around £30,000 each for the one-off appearance.

Pulver confirmed the meeting took place but said there was no proposal made and that the exhibition is unlikely to materialise.   

“We’d just been to an initial meeting to listen to the concept, so we haven’t seen a proposal for the game,” Pulver told Fox Sports News on Monday.

"The financial model behind that contest would be pretty attractive. I don’t question that you would sell out a major stadium around the world for that sort of event but as I said earlier, based on reactions I’ve heard today it’s probably unlikely to happen.”    

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie shrugged off the suggestions, saying,  “I’m not planning for anything, it’s not in my diary, so I’m not swotting up on rules of Rugby League or anything like that.

“I’m just getting on with business of coaching the Wallabies and concentrating on getting to the World Cup in good shape.”

The reports reignited talks of a long anticipated hybrid match between the Wallabies and the Kangaroos - a game that sems destined to remain a dream match for Australian supporters.

“As long as I have been involved with the game there seems to be talked about [a hybrid game against the Kangaroos],” said McKenzie.

“I even coached a hybrid game once on the Central Coast. It was a bit of fun but that’s what it was, a bit of fun.

“They’re obviously a great side in their own right, we’ve seen that in recent times. They’re a great side doing what they do; we do what we do and that’s it.”

Star Wallaby flank Michael Hooper, the 2013 winner of the John Eales Medal after a stellar season, said he’d relish tackling his Rugby League compatriots.

“I’d love to play those guys with the Rugby Union guys, it would be good,” said Hooper.