Kangaroos v All Blacks: Mega pay day for NRL stars
AUSTRALIA'S leading NRL stars stand to pocket up to $50,000 per man under plans for the Kangaroos to play a cross-code, Christmas blockbuster against the All Blacks this year.
The likes of James Tedesco, Daly Cherry-Evans, Boyd Cordner and David Fifita could receive the most lucrative representative cheques of their careers if the showpiece event goes ahead on December 5.
Queensland and NSW players currently receive $30,000 apiece for each of the three State of Origin games annually, while Kangaroos stars are paid $20,000 for each Test appearance in the green-and-gold.
There's an argument that a history-making Kangaroos-All Blacks fixture is worth more individually than a State of Origin or league international.
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Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga wants the match to happen and Australian players would be duly remunerated with payments that could exceed match fees for State of Origin and Test appearances.
NRL clubs and the Rugby League Players Association would have to be consulted but no Kangaroos player would knock back a lucrative pay day for an 80-minute epic against the All Blacks.
Concerns over player welfare in a COVID-affected 2020 season are illogical.
In 2017, Australia played six Test matches during that year's World Cup, including the final against England on December 2.
Kangaroos stars Michael Morgan and Cameron Smith played a total of 32 and 29 matches respectively across the 2017 NRL calendar. No NRL player this year will feature in 30 matches, even if the All Blacks-Kangaroos clash takes place.
New Zealand Rugby officials are keen to continue negotiations and want the ARL Commission to come to the party to thrash out one of the most compelling contests in trans-Tasman sporting history.
Queensland Origin skipper and Kangaroos vice-captain Cherry-Evans said the prospect of taking on the All Blacks would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"Anything like that, where there's an opportunity to grow the game of rugby league and in particular at a time like now, I think it's a great idea," he said.
"I've always maintained I've love to play rep football for as long as I'm up for it.
"If my form provided to be there, I'd love to play something like that.
"It would be unreal, great to look back on and experience something like that."