The New Zealand Rugby Union have reportedly looked to double their fee an out-of-window international test match against England next year.
The All Blacks want a fifty-fifty split of the the overall £6 million which is generated from a test match at Twickenham, which would see their usual fee of £1.5 million, double to £3 million. The RFU are said to have dismissed the sum as extortionate and the test will not go ahead.
New Zealand have threatened in recent weeks to pull out of World Rugby should their demands not be met, including the introduction of a global season, something that the RFU are not keen on.
New Zealand has already turned down an end-of-tour fixture with the Barbarians in favour of a match with a Rest of World XV, which will see them earn a larger fee.
A senior RFU figure said:
“With no international fixtures yet arranged after the 2019 World Cup, the All Blacks are playing hardball.
They’ve made their position clear: ‘We’re not coming to play you guys in the north unless we get the global season that suits us, i.e from February to November.’
“They are exploring the American market. But whatever exposure they get from this year’s match against Ireland in Chicago will be nothing compared to the exposure they get as a brand in the UK and Europe.
“Their sponsors, AIG and Adidas, won’t be happy unless they are being promoted world-wide. They’re not going to get that if they price themselves out of the biggest market in England.’’
You can be sure, this isn’t the last you will hear of this saga. It sounds like it’s only just beginning.