“It was pretty obvious that the 2019 result was just one of those freak occurrences that happen in sport,” Fleming said.
“There’s no rational explanation as to how it happened – and there’s certainly no way anyone can foresee it happening again.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for Sir Graham’s team – as rugby players. But as cricketers… not so much.”
With mainstays Jordie Barrett and Israel Dagg returning, Sir Graham already has Team Rugby’s lethal fast bowling attack locked in.
Former teenage tearaway Dagg famously broke Fleming’s toe with a brutal yorker in the opening match and followed that up by ripping out Fleming’s former One Day International opening partner Nathan Astle in Napier.
“Flem still talks a darn good game – but he hasn’t exactly troubled the scorers in these matches,” Sir Graham quipped.
“Perhaps it’s time for him to follow my lead and become a non-playing coach?”
Sir Graham, who arrived for today’s press event in a helicopter piloted by his former captain McCaw, said he has bolstered his coaching staff by luring defector Scott Robertson back from Team Cricket.
“Scotty wins everything he touches,” Sir Graham said. “The one exception was when he bizarrely joined Team Cricket for the first Black Clash. I’m sure he will have learned his lesson there.”
David Higgins, founder and director of Duco Events, said it was fantastic to be able to look forward to staging another incredible event following the impacts of Covid-19 on the event industry.
“It has been a bloody tough time for the events industry, there’s no doubt about that,” Higgins said.
“But we are extremely fortunate in this country that we have been able to keep the pandemic largely under control, which means we can look forward to some great events this summer.