Ian Foster has confirmed that a North-South match, doubling as an All Blacks trial, will go ahead and revealed how players would qualify to represent the respective teams.
The match is set for August 29, the second weekend after the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa, but coaches for the teams and a ground for the game are yet to be finalised.
Players would be eligible for either the North or South Island side depending on which province they made their first-class debut for.
‘We’re firming up a date and we’ve got to sort the ground out. We’ve got to find some hotels that aren’t being used for [Covid-19] quarantining, that’s not easy,’ Foster said in a video posted on all the All Blacks’ social media channels.
‘We’ve looked at it and we think the best legacy thing for us to do is pick players on the first province that they played for because that was probably the start of their move into the professional game. We think that’s the best criteria.’
In my eyes 👀 the eligibility criteria should’ve been which high school players attended. Pretty obvious the AB selectors want a better spread of ABs across both teams. Can’t have the 3rd best #9 or #2 missing out for the North Island side. Just call it what it is an AB trail. https://t.co/wU7wK5rIhz
— Joey Wheeler (@joey_wheelz) June 26, 2020
Foster added that the highly anticipated game would effectively double as an All Blacks trial match, in the lead-up to New Zealand’s scheduled four-Test Bledisloe Cup series against the Wallabies in October.
‘We won’t pick [the All Blacks] before that game, at this stage. All plans are pretty fluid but we felt, let Super Rugby play out and just enjoy it. Then we’ll get into a North/South game.
‘We might even be a little bit old school, that it’s the day after the North/South game we have the old Sunday morning media conference and announce the team.’
🍿 WATCH | All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster gives an update on all the hot topics. What does Fossie think about the proposal for the Kangaroos to play the All Blacks; how is he enjoying @SuperRugbyNZ Aotearoa; and how will the North v South teams be selected? pic.twitter.com/y02g7ml6fb
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 26, 2020
Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images