Juicy Otago-Waikato rematch looms

Waikato's Dwayne Sweeney makes a break as Otago's Kurt Hammer (right) chases after him during the...
Waikato's Dwayne Sweeney makes a break as Otago's Kurt Hammer (right) chases after him during the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final this year. Photo: Getty Images
Otago will get a chance to avenge its loss in the Mitre 10 Cup Championship final.

At the same time, Waikato may have a chance to avenge its Ranfurly Shield loss.

The two sides will meet in one of Otago's crossover games for next year's competition.

Canterbury, Wellington and North Harbour will be its other Premiership opponents.

But it will undoubtedly be the match against Waikato that will hold a certain amount of anticipation.

It was Waikato that chose the match - which Otago will host - in the first round of picks when it made its first selection, exercising its option to play any Championship side.

That it chose the beaten finalist, rather than a low-finishing team, is a clear indication of its intention.

Should Otago hold on to the Ranfurly Shield - which it won off Waikato a month ago - it will make for an epic rematch.

Given Otago was well-beaten 36-13 by the same opponent in the final two weeks later, it may have a point to prove itself.

Otago's other home crossover game will be against Canterbury, this one chosen by Otago.

While always a tough opponent, Canterbury has been a team Otago has chosen regularly over the years.

For its two away games Otago will travel to Wellington and North Harbour, the latter being Otago's choice.

Meanwhile Southland has the two most difficult road trips to make.

It will play both of this year's Premiership finalists - Auckland and Canterbury - away from home.

Counties-Manukau and North Harbour will both trek south to Invercargill.

The complete draw for next year's competition was now in the process of being put together.

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