The All Blacks had agreed to play the Barbarians at Twickenham on the same day
The clash had been arranged to celebrate the Barbarians’ historic 125th anniversary
RFU chief Ian Ritchie is threatening to veto the Twickenham contest
The RFU have been accused of ‘deceitful and underhand’ conduct over their efforts to arrange a match between England and the All Blacks this autumn.
The governing body are desperately trying to convince the world champions to agree to a fixture at Twickenham on November 4.
As it stands now the two leading sides in the international game are not scheduled to meet next until November of 2018.
However latest Daily Mail revelations have further muddied the waters around the potential “heavyweight champion of the world” match-up
Chief executive Ian Ritchie has reportedly threatened to veto the match which New Zealand had provisionally accepted — against the Barbarians at the same venue, on the same day.
A well-placed source revealed to the Dailly Mail that Ritchie made renewed contact with his Kiwi counterpart, NZRU chief executive Steve Tew, on Thursday night.
It is understood the NZRU’s wishes was for the All Blacks to play the Barbarians, in a ceremonial fixture with profound historical resonance, to mark their 125th anniversary.
However, Ritchie is believed to have countered by stating that there is a meeting of the RFU’s board next week and that, as the national governing body, they may now refuse approval for the match to take place within their jurisdiction.
Another source claimed that the Barbarians regard the RFU’s conduct as ‘deceitful and underhand’
New Zealand are said to be demanding half the profit from such a massive match-up, which could fall at around the $5 million mark; England, of course, would like to drive a harder bargain..
Further complicating the game the world wants to see is the stance by Aviva Premiership clubs that they will not release players for this fixture because it falls outside of the agreed international window.