Warren Gatland pitches $10m All Blacks-Lions 'decider' to make NZR much-needed coin

Source: 1News

Chiefs coach Warren Gatland has thrown out a radical idea to breathe some much needed finances back into New Zealand Rugby when the coronavirus pandemic is over - a $10 million 'decider' between the All Blacks and British and Irish Lions.

The Liions' coach says his side have been welcomed everywhere they go.

The All Blacks and Lions ended their 2017 series in a controversial draw, leaving many fans unsatisfied at sights of Kieran Read and Sam Warburton hoisting the trophy together.

But now Gatland, who was coaching the Lions for his second tour when they came to New Zealand, has proposed a way of finally settling the score as he eyes next year's trip to South Africa for his third tour in charge.

"I've spoken to Mark Robinson (Zealand Rugby CEO) about a warm-up game for the Lions and he was potentially talking about the New Zealand Māori as a game," Gatland said on The Breakdown.

"But is it something that the All Blacks go up there for a decider at the end of June before we go off to South Africa?

"Potentially it's an opportunity to make four or five million pounds from a game like that and put some money back into the coffers, that we're going to need."

It's understood New Zealand Rugby is facing a potential $130 million loss in budgeted revenues thanks to Covid-19 with measures such as 20 per cent pay cuts to all NZR staff already in place.

But Gatland said rugby's eventual return is a chance to get the game back on track and he had another big idea for making money.

"Potentially there's some opportunities for the world to come together in terms of how we get up and running again and generate as much revenue as we potentially can and don't damage what we've got," he said.

"With the July, August test series due to be called off, do the southern hemisphere teams go up to the northern hemisphere in November and play in a round-robin tournament?

"If it's revenue sharing I think potentially there's an opportunity to earn probably about £20m for each home nation if they did something like that."