Brad Lewis: What a cross-code hybrid All Blacks v Kangaroos clash could look like

OPINION: The drums continue to beat for the proposed hybrid showdown between the All Blacks and Australian Kangaroos.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports an AU$8 million pitch is in the works that could see NZ Rugby and the NRL split the profits. 

Heavyweight league coaches Wayne Bennett and Trent Robinson have backed the concept, and NZR boss Mark Robinson hasn't ruled it out.

A proposed date in December is mooted for a potential 14-man game, with a group of legends from both codes set to discuss the rules.

What that looks like is murky, but still fun to predict.

No lineouts? Pushing in scrums? Tackle counts? Five-point tries?

A 14-man game would suggest that the No.8 position would most likely be omitted, while you can't imagine the leaguies being too keen on lineouts or mauls. 

With that being said, let's assume there are 'Golden Oldies' scrums, and no lineouts or tackle counts, with the added feature of two wild cards per team - here is what the sides could look like in my dreams.

The Barrett brothers would all play their part in the New Zealand side
The Barrett brothers would all play their part in the New Zealand side Photo credit: Getty

All Blacks 

Fullback - Roger Tuivasa-Sheck [WC] 

Wingers - Jordie Barrett, George Bridge 

Centres - Ngani Laumape, Jack Goodhue 

Halves - Richie Mo'unga, Beauden Barrett 

Loose-forwards - Ardie Savea, Shannon Frizell

Second-row - Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipolutu 

Props - Dane Coles, Asafo Aumua 

Hooker - TJ Perenara 

Eight-man bench 
Backs - Damian McKenzie, Will Jordan, Shaun Johnson [WC], Reiko Ioane
Forwards - Sam Cane, Hoskins Sotutu, Codie Taylor, Aaron Smith 

Two hookers at prop you ask? Simple - great ball runners, who are also mobile around the park. 

It's hard to see the value in traditional prop forward in a hybrid game, where scrums would basically just reset play. 

The Kangaroos pack is big and mobile, so the All Blacks would need all the athleticism they could muster to match that, which Coles and Aumua have in spades. 

The hooker position in rugby league is more like a halfback, so Perenara and Aaron Smith could play as dual No.9s, and with uncompetitive scrums and no lineouts, there wouldn't be an issue at set-piece. 

The All Blacks could play Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga in the halves, with Damian McKenzie off the bench. 

The 'wild card' is a bit of a gimmick, but would allow two big-name Kiwi league players to play with the All Blacks. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was a schoolboy rugby star and Shaun Johnson would be electric coming off the bench.

Kalyn Ponga
Kalyn Ponga Photo credit: Getty


Fullback - Kalyn Ponga 

Wingers - Josh Addo-Carr, James Tedesco

Centres - Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic 

Halves - Nathan Cleary, Luke Keary 

Loose-forwards - Sonny Bill Williams [WC], Tyson Frizell 

Second-row - Jake Trbojevic, Boyd Cordner 

Props - Payne Haas, Josh Papalii

Hooker - Cameron Smith 

Eight-man bench 
Backs - Kurtley Beale [WC], Cameron Munster, Mitchell Moses, Josh Dugan 
Forwards - David Klemmer, Cam Murray, Damien Cook, Angus Crichton 

How cool would it be to see the Frizell brothers match it up, hence the inclusion of the half brothers in these line-ups. 

While it seems crazy not to play Tedesco at fullback, the back-story around Ponga's All Blacks aspirations is too good for him not to start at the back and I'm sure 'Teddy' would slot in perfectly well on the wing. 

That Kangaroos backline is stacked full of talent and could match it with the ABs.

The two wild cards are Sonny Bill Williams - yes I know he's a Kiwi, but how good would it be watching him against some his former 15-man code teammates.

Also, it's hard to imagine a game like this going on without SBW, and to add him to the Kangaroos, alongside some of his 'Roosters Brothers' is a great storyline.

He would be joined by talented Wallabies back Kurtley Beale, whose skillset is perfect for either code. 

Cameron Smith gets the nod at hooker as a unique and potentially groundbreaking send-off to a magnificent career.

Brad Lewis is a Newshub online sports producer