The NZ Falcons and the NZ All Stars will square off on April 23rd, 2023 at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland.
The game was originally set for September, 2021 and again in April 22, but the game could not go ahead due to Covid 19 restrictions.
The match will now take place following the completion of the 2023 AFL New Zealand Premiership season and provide a lead in to future representative matches including an Australian tour planned for May/June 2023 and the International Cup in 2024. Details of the Australian tour are yet to be finalised but will include a minimum of two matches against Australian based opposition.
In a first for AFL New Zealand, the NZ All Stars, New Zealand Falcons game will be an addition to the calendar and provide a solid contest for players currently playing at the highest level. With international travel restrictions now disappearing, it is expected that a surge of opportunities will present themselves to the New Zealand Teams Programme.
The New Zealand Falcons last took to the field on April, 26th 2019 against the AFL Academy side on Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
Playing squad selection will be reassessed in 2023 leading in to the new date. A nominated selection panel from each of the Regional leagues will also be engaged to provide nominations for talent outside the current AFL New Zealand Premiership pool. Following selection, squad members will be provided with detail on fitness criteria as well as lead in training schedules. The involvement of Australian based players will be monitored and assessed dependent on Australian based commitments and travel restrictions.