Christchurch is set to host a blockbusting day of rugby on Saturday September 4 with the Canterbury NPC clash against rivals Tasman now sandwiched between Heartland matches comprising South Canterbury versus neighbours Mid Canterbury and Buller up against West Coast, all at Orangetheory Stadium.
“We saw this as a real opportunity to offer the rugby loving public something different and celebrate all rugby in the upper South Island,” said CRFU CEO Tony Smail.
“When we saw that their rivalry round coincided with us taking on one of our closest neighbours Tasman, then it all just made sense. We’ve been given a good indication that our broadcast partner SKY is on board and they’ll be showing both Heartland games live too, which will add to the occasion.”
“I’m sure plenty of people that support South and Mid Canterbury and even West Coast and Buller in the Heartland competition support Canterbury in the NPC too, so it’ll be a great opportunity for our fans to get to watch all of those teams in one location,” said South Canterbury CEO Craig Calder.
“Some of our young guys like Cullen Grace have played all of their junior rugby in South Canterbury before going on to play for Canterbury and then the All Blacks, so for us to be able to partner with CRFU to create this festival of rugby is a great way to showcase that connection.”
“We don’t often get our matches broadcasted live, so It’s a great opportunity for our guys and their families to have this happen,” said Buller CEO Andrew Duncan. “It’s something fun and a bit different too for our supporters and our players, getting to watch Canterbury take on Tasman and then go out and play our brand of rugby on the same park will be pretty special.”
“It’s an exciting opportunity for the whole region to come together and celebrate something that means a lot to us all. It should be a whole lot of fun,” said Mid Canterbury Rugby CEO Ian Patterson.
West Coast Rugby Union CEO Mike Connors agreed “This is a great opportunity to celebrate rugby at all levels in our region, it should make for a fantastic day and something we hope can become a regular opportunity.”
South Canterbury versus Mid Canterbury will kick off the triple header at 2:05 on September 4 before Canterbury take on Tasman at 4:35pm.
Buller will host West Coast in the later game with kick off scheduled for 7:05pm. Tickets go on sale early August from Ticketek.