Related: Twitter reacts to American Football star’s rugby claimThings will be very different today, but some fans may remember the cross-code challenges between Bath and Wigan back in 1996. Then, there were two matches – a league game and a union one.Code cracking: Jon Sleightholme breaks away from Jason Robinson (Getty Images)Former Bath and England wing Jon Sleightholme recently told Rugby World of those match-ups: “The hardest thing was the defensive aspect (Bath lost 82-6). Union has learnt so much from league and it has had a huge impact. We couldn’t get to grips with the defensive stuff. We were all absolutely blowing because it was so different and if you speak to the league boys they will say the same about the game at Twickenham (Bath won 44-19).”If a southern hemisphere clash can get off the ground, it would draw significant international attention. LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS Can’t get to the shops? You can download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.Follow Rugby World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fired up: The Kangaroos in action last year (Getty Images) New Zealand confirm discussions with Australia rugby league are underway The All Blacks facing off against rugby league’s famous Kangaroos of Australia, in an epic code clash? It may sound fanciful but it was confirmed today: talks are underway between both sides.It began with a report in Australia’s Courier Mail on Thursday that claimed a 14-a-side hybrid union-league contest between the All Blacks and Kangaroos was being lined up for early December. Later, New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson explained that negotiations have been underway to explore a potentially lucrative event.“We’ve had an approach,” Robinson confirmed of the story. “We’ll work that through and go through the proper process… if we feel it has merit to take further.“It’s one of the many different options… we are considering.“It’s not new. The last time NZR had an approach was in 2017.”Considering it: The All Blacks may be open to the money-spinner (Getty Images)In the initial report, Kangaroos boss Mal Meninga said: “I’m keen to make this happen. We want to play the All Blacks, hopefully, we can get the concept off the ground,” adding that 5 December was the date being thrown around.
Off to one of its best starts in recent years, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team still wants more.With an 11-7, 2-2 Big Ten record, Wisconsin has renewed energy and a hunger for victory that is pushing them to continually improve.“We’re just trying to make sure that we get better every day,” head coach Brian Fleishman said. “We don’t want to get complacent or lazy and think that we’ve accomplished something great – we haven’t, not yet. It’s been a better season, but Big Ten is our goal. The next six matches are going to be dogfights and it’s basically going to be who wants it more and I think this team is really hungry.”This weekend is Wisconsin’s first chance to prove its hunger against Indiana (10-8, 0-5 Big Ten) Saturday and Purdue (9-6, 3-2 Big Ten) Sunday.Recently, Indiana has given Wisconsin quite a bit of trouble, especially last year in a 4-3 win.“They know that that 4-3 loss to Indiana last year, we let it slip away. We’re going to use that from last year to motivate us to get us through the match this year,” Fleishman said. “Indiana, they’re always tough. I think we’re a much better team than we were last year and I think their team is good, but we’re just a better team in general. It’s all going to come down to how we perform on game day – errors to winner ratio, how we conduct ourselves emotionally. I think this team that I have this year really wants it bad.”After another 4-3 loss to Purdue as well, the Badgers feel they’ll be able to edge out the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers this weekend and continue building the success they’ve had this season.“We’re just building off that,” junior Alaina Trgovich said. “IU and Purdue were both 4-3 matches last year, so I think we’re just really pumped up for that and this year, I think we have the edge over them.”Despite having a better season overall this year, the Badgers still faced disappointment last weekend after being shut out by the Wolverines.Last Sunday, Wisconsin fell 7-0 to No. 8 Michigan. Regardless of the tough loss, the Badgers feel confident they learned a lot and can use the experience to help move forward.“We’re looking at the Michigan loss – we learned a lot from that match,” Fleishman said. “We know they’re at a certain level and we want to strive to get to that level. Now, we kind of know what we need to do, how we need to play and how we need to perform on game day against quality teams like that.”The loss to Michigan marked Wisconsin’s last home match until the end of April. Heading on the road the next two weekends, the Badgers know they need to bring as much energy to the court as possible.“I think we have to go into the matches excited since it’s not going to be at home, we’re not going to have that support,” freshman Jenny Hois said. “The support is going to have to come from us and if we go in there excited and ready to play, then we’ll have good results.”Entering the toughest portion of its season, Wisconsin is cognizant of maintaining its confidence level.“We’re playing great,” Hois said. “As long as we go into the matches respecting everybody but not fearing anyone, that’s the biggest thing. If you go in there confident… if you are expecting to win, then you won’t ever have that feeling of desperation during the match. Confidence is the biggest thing.”