Later start for better seasons

A later start is in store for the Otago secondary schools rugby competition.

The competition, which will retain the same format as last year, will begin on May 15.

The date, which is the second weekend of term two, is in place to align with Sport New Zealand’s Balance is Better approach.

Its purpose is to ensure players can fairly participate in both winter and summer sports with clear space between them.

OSSRC chairman Greg Heller welcomed the later start.

""It is great that all rugby players can enter the season refreshed and energised and we are committed to working alongside all other codes to give our participants a quality experience."

Each of the 12 schools from last season have confirmed they will be back in this year’s competition.

It will retain its split premiership/championship double round-robin format.

Six teams will play in each, with the two bottom-ranked Premiership teams relegated and the two top championship teams promoted after the first round.

Teams then start again on zero points for a second round-robin, before being split into a top four, middle four and bottom four.

St Kevin’s College comes up to start in the premiership after beginning in the championship last year.

Meanwhile, John McGlashan College reprises its spot in the top division, after dropping at the halfway stage last year.

They are joined by defending champion Otago Boys’ High School, King’s High School, Southland Boys’ High School and Dunstan High School.

The championship will consist of Mount Aspiring College, Otago Boys’ 2nd XV, Wakatipu High School, South Otago High School, Waitaki Boys’ High School and the Combined Co-ed team.

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