North Otago to have tilt at shield on July 26

Richard Kinley
Richard Kinley
The train will lead to Oamaru in July for Otago supporters.

The Otago Rugby Football Union has confirmed the side's second preseason game will be against North Otago in Oamaru on July 26.

Otago will play Thames Valley in Wanaka on July 13 in its first pre-season Ranfurly Shield challenge and North Otago will be its second opponent.

The game will be played at Whitestone Contracting Stadium, kicking off at 2.05pm.

North Otago chief executive Colin Jackson said North Otago was delighted to be given the chance to challenge for the shield in Oamaru.

"The Otago Rugby Union has shown great leadership and initiative to take the Ranfurly Shield out to the regions. July 26 can not come quick enough for our team and supporters," he said.

ORFU general manager Richard Kinley said Otago had always shared a very close working relationship with North Otago, particularly regarding player development.

"Accepting the challenge from North Otago and taking the Ranfurly Shield to Oamaru, in my mind, is absolutely the right thing to do," he said.

To make the occasion special, the union will be putting on a special charter train from Dunedin to Oamaru.

The Dunedin club final is set to be played at Forsyth Barr Stadium the next day and Otago players should get to play for their clubs and not be needed for Otago the day before.

Otago will have one more warm-up game in the Mitre 10 Cup against Tasman on August 2 before it plays its first match against Bay of Plenty in Tauranga on August 11. Its first Ranfurly Shield defence will be against Southland on August 17.


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