Rugby: Bosses working on inter-island match

The inter-island match has not been played since professional rugby began, but plans remain to reinstate the match in June in Dunedin.

The last clash was in 1995 at Carisbrook but this year's duel will be played across town at the new stadium as part of plans to help bail out the Otago Rugby Union.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said the match could be disruptive for the Super 15 franchises but they were working hard on nailing the detail.

"We're working on timing, appointment of coaches, who will select the teams, what they'll wear and all that stuff,'' he said.

The Super 15 takes a break in June when the All Blacks play three tests during that month against Ireland so the interisland match will have to fit around those dates and use the next tier of players.

That has the potential to produce some intriguing allegiance switches for fringe All Blacks and questions about others' involvement.

Would players like Benson Stanley, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Toby Smith or Ben Franks get a game if needed because they were all born in Australia, or Fritz Lee, who was born in Samoa?

Chiefs players Liam Messam, Brodie Retallick and Robbie Robinson all hail from the South Island, while the entire Whitelock clan, Tom Donnelly, Zac Guildford, Robbie Fruean, Sean Maitland, Tom Marshall, Nick Crosswell, Kurt Baker, Tamati Ellison, Hosea Gear, Jarrad Hoeata, Kade Poki, Culum Retallick and Aaron Smith were all born in the North Island.

Meanwhile, Tew said the NZRU was satisfied with the rescue package progress for the Otago union, that the bulk of the local creditors would be repaid and that a new board would be in place in several months.

Rugby ratings on Sky were up about 15 percent on last season but variables had to be factored in because of the draw.

Several provinces had posted small profits, player costs were dropping and there had not been any breaches of the salary cap for the domestic provincial competition.

The NZRU has started commercial negotiations with four groups wanting to lease Super 15 sides.


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