The match kicks off at 4.35pm and marks the first outing for new Hawke’s Bay Head Coach Josh Syms and will be the Magpies tenth defence since lifting the Ranfurly Shield against Otago in Dunedin in October 2020.
Syms has named six debutants in a squad captained by lock Tom Parsons and featuring first five Lincoln McLutchie, fresh of his first season of DHL Super Rugby Pacific with Moana Pasifika.
For South Canterbury, who play in the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship, the union’s first challenge since 2006 comes courtesy of winning the 2021 Meads Cup, a prize which earned the Nigel Walsh coached side an automatic Ranfurly Shield challenge in 2022. South Canterbury has won the Shield twice, in 1950 and 1974.
Notably, the match will be South Canterbury captain and loose forward Nick Strachan’s 100th appearance for the union.
Hawke’s Bay’s last challenge was a thrilling 34-22 win over Tasman in the final round of the 2021 Bunnings NPC regular season.
The Magpies will face two non-championship challenges with another Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship union, Poverty Bay, scheduled for a trip to Napier on Saturday, 30 July.
Hawke’s Bay v South Canterbury
Date: Wednesday, 29 June
Kick-off: 4.30pm, Live and exclusive on Sky
Venue: McLean Park, Napier