Country rugby eyes June return

Country rugby is hoping to get under way next month as it looks to get back to some normality.

The club season was set to start in Central Otago and the southern region in late March and early April, but never got on the field when NZ Rugby put a hold on community rugby.

Now there is real hope the season is not too far away.

It is hoped if restrictions are lifted or loosened on Monday, then the competition could get away on June 20 or June 27.

Otago Country chairman Willis Paterson said everyone was waiting hopefully for some good news on Monday, and then it would be full steam ahead.

Clubs had been having meetings over the past few weeks to make sure everyone was updated with the latest information.

He said good work by Otago Rugby Football Union staff had helped the clubs.

The competitions would have one round, followed by semifinals and finals. Paterson said with lambing, calving and other farm duties it was not possible to go past the end of August.

He said rural communities were keen to get the sport up and running as it was a real focus for the local community on Saturday. It would bring some sort of normality to the regions, which would please many people.

Teams may be able to train next week if the restrictions are lifted.

In the southern region, Roxburgh had dropped out and been replaced by West Taieri, which has shifted from the Dunedin Metropolitan premier two competition.

In Central Otago, Cromwell is expected to field just one team, while Clyde-Earnscleugh is not going to field a team. So there will be seven teams in the Central Otago competition: Arrowtown, Wakatipu, Upper Clutha, Maniototo, Matakanui Combined, Alexandra and Cromwell.

The Wakatipu Wanderers are expected to line up in the Southland competition.

It is hoped North Otago club rugby will start on June 20, but again it depends on restrictions.

Southland is also looking at June 20, to get under way while Dunedin is eyeing a July 4 start.


Not sure where your information has come from.
Cromwell is still planning 2 teams in the Central competition with numbers for both the Goats and the Cavaliers looking strong.

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