Hybrid game a step closer for cash-strapped ARU
February 21, 2014
The cash-strapped Australian Rugby Union could be in line for a Aus$4 million (£2.2 million) injection of funds with a hybrid match between the Wallabies and England's national rugby league side looking increasingly likely.
In what would be the richest game of all time in either rugby code, promoters of the match, which would take place at Wembley Stadium on December 6, are said to be in advanced talks with broadcasters, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The 13-a-side match would net players up to $100,000 each, with the likes of Israel Folau and Quade Cooper lining up against the cream of England's league talent. ARU boss Bill Pulver said: "We have not agreed to this and we haven't received any form of proposal to review. Until that happens, it's pure speculation."
However former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer is working behind the scenes to ensure the game, which has also been endorsed by Mark Ella, Bob Fulton and Brad Fittler, happens.
"An agreement was reached between the two sides to play the game subject to the commercial terms being reached," Dwyer said.
The deal must be finalised by the end of March, in order to establish a broadcast time and gather sponsors. Under the proposed game's rules, teams will play league rules in their half and union rules in the opposition half, but have just 60 seconds to get out of their own half and another 60 seconds to score points.
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