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A Splash of Colour to kick off 2018 National Provincial Competitions

allblacks.com     07 Aug 2018    

In a first, Farah Palmer Cup captains and senior players joined their Mitre 10 Cup counterparts in a colourful event in Auckland, just a week out from the first match of the Mitre 10 Cup. The Farah Palmer Cup official gets under way on 1 September.

New Zealand Rugby Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said welcomed the onset of the domestic competitions season as the rugby that stirred up true provincial pride.

“Our domestic competitions are incredibly special, holding a popular place in the rugby calendar, bringing together communities across the country and identifying the next crop of rugby super stars. 

“The Mitre 10 Cup is a unique competition with provincial stalwarts lining up alongside emerging stars, it always produces great rugby. The Farah Palmer Cup is a competition that continues to grow and with the introduction of professional contracts for our Black Ferns it is sure to see the level of rugby reach new heights,” said Cass.

The Mitre 10 Cup kicks off next Thursday with the northern battle between Northland and North Harbour. Enticing first up matches also see defending Premiership champions Canterbury take on Tasman, Auckland play neighbours Counties Manukau, premiership new-comers Wellington host Otago.

Taranaki hold the coveted Ranfurly Shield, having held off Manawatu in a thrilling Shield challenge to close out 2017 and they will kick off their defence against the Turbos in round two. Taranaki have already held off Poverty Bay and Wanganui in the traditional pre-season challenges against Heartland Championship teams.

With the Farah Palmer Cup under way on 1 September, 12 teams will compete in two divisions. Defending champions Canterbury kick off their campaign against the newly promoted Bay of Plenty Volcanix. Canterbury also hold the JJ Stewart Trophy, the Ranfurly Shield equivalent, and have their first defence in round three against Waikato.

Today’s launch was missing Black Ferns who are assembled in Tauranga ahead of their Game of Three Halves against Auckland and Bay of Plenty on Saturday.

Competition draw
Click here for the full draw for Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup