After returning to Christchurch, former All Blacks captain Kieran Read has revealed there is potential for him to take part in a domestic competition – just not Super Rugby.
Read has come back to Christchurch after the Covid-19 pandemic saw his new life in Japan with Toyota Verblitz put on hold but he’s still keen to stay match fit.
To that end, Read said he would be interested in playing this year’s Mitre 10 Cup, which is due to kick off in September.
"I would [be interested]," the 34-year-old told Sky.
"It's a possibility. There needs to be a few things to happen."
With travel coming to a standstill during the pandemic, international Tests have been put on the backburner. But Read believes that could still be a positive here in New Zealand.
"I think it's just exciting if the All Blacks are back playing in that competition. I remember that's what it was like when I was younger watching the games on the hill at Pukekohe.
"All the All Blacks were playing so you got to see a lot of legends of the game playing in that form of footy. It's exciting for the game. Hopefully that gets going.”
Hope is what the competition needs right now with pay disputes threatening to curtail it this season.
1 NEWS revealed earlier this week negotiations between the Rugby Players' Association, New Zealand Rugby and the provincial unions are at a very sensitive stage, one source using the term "stalemate" to describe the current situation.
It also understands that unions are asking players to take a 30 per cent pay cut for the 2020 season. Should that fail to happen, some players wouldn't be able to fit into their respective union's wage bill and therefore be unable to participate.
Provinces like Manawatū, Southland, North Harbour and Northland are all understood to be feeling the financial pressure, coming a day after Taranaki outlined its precarious financial situation.
But Read, who was aligned with Counties Manukau prior to leaving New Zealand, is keeping hope alive.
“We'll just have to wait and see if I'm there or not."