A revised 2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw has been announced, with a new schedule for the Premiership and Championship conferences, that starts on September 11.
Across New Zealand, the 14 unions are committed to commencing the national provincial championship, as the country overcomes the Coronavirus pandemic. With Super Rugby being played, the Mitre 10 Cup and the Farah Palmer Cup [tbc] will compete at the conclusion of the domestic professional rugby competition.
New Zealand Rugby Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said with the renewed enthusiasm around rugby it was another important step to have confirmation of the Mitre 10 Cup calendar.
“We have seen a real surge in interest in Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa in the past few weeks and have confidence that it will continue through to Mitre 10 Cup which is a special competition in our rugby landscape.
“We know the Provincial Unions have been working hard in their preparation for this season and we are looking forward to what will be another exciting competition,” said Lendrum.
2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw announced for Premiership/Championship
The Mitre 10 Cup format remains the same with a 10-week round-robin leading to semi-finals for the top four teams in the premiership and championship on November 20/21, with the finals the following weekend.
Kick-off times will also follow in the footsteps of changes introduced in Super Rugby with traditional 7.35pm fixtures now set for kick-off at 7.05pm. In addition, previous fixtures staged on Thursday nights have been rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, resulting in match starts of 2:05pm ideal for families and clubs/bars.
The opening match will see Harbour face Canterbury, at North Harbour Stadium on Friday, September 11. The full calendar can be seen here and is rich with all Premiership teams clashing, as well as cross-conference matches over the 10-week schedule.
The Ranfurly Shield is again going to be defended when the holder; Canterbury, play at home. They will defend the Shield first against Taranaki during the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup.
Ranfurly Shield challenges for Taranaki, Wellington, Waikato, Otago and Auckland 😯 Tough schedule for Canterbury but not great reading if you aren't one of the traditional powers of the provincial game… #Mitre10Cup https://t.co/WMdFXQ1kPq
— Tom Vinicombe (@TomVinicombe) June 24, 2020
Consultation with provincial unions to finalize the Farah Palmer Cup schedule is currently underway, with the aim of as many double-header fixtures with Mitre 10 Cup matches as possible. In terms of importance, it is critical that the 2020 and 2021 FPC seasons must be competitive, leading into the 2021 Rugby World Cup, to be hosted in New Zealand.
|WEEK 1. Friday 11 September – Sunday 13 September|
|Friday 11th||7.05pm||North Harbour v Canterbury||North Harbour Stadium||Auckland|
|Sat 12th||2.05pm||Waikato v Wellington||FMG Stadium Waikato||Hamilton|
|Sat 12th||4.35pm||Otago v Auckland||Forsyth Barr Stadium||Dunedin|
|Sat 12th||7.05pm||Counties Manukau v Tasman||Navigation Homes Stadium||Pukekohe|
|Sun 13th||2.05pm||Northland v Manawatu||Semenoff Stadium||Whangarei|
|Sun 13th||2.05pm||Taranaki v Bay of Plenty||TET Stadium & Events Centre||Inglewood|
|Sun 13th||4.35pm||Southland v Hawke’s Bay||Rugby Park||Invercargill|
Note: the Heartland Championship has not been scheduled for 2020.
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