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Otago Boys’ and Southland Boys’ are perennial favourites but this season King’s is emerging as the pre-tournament favourite.
Unlike its heavyweight rivals, it has kept most of its squad together and, with a big forward pack and talented backs, maybe this is its year.
The tournament gets under way today. The 12 competing teams have been split into a top six (Premiership) and bottom six (Championship).
At the end of the first round-robin, the bottom two teams from the Premiership will be relegated to the Championship and top two teams from the Championship will be promoted to the Premiership.
The points will be wiped and the second round-robin will commence.
The top-ranking teams at the conclusion of the second round-robin will host their respective semifinals.
The higher-ranked semifinal winner will host the final. The preference is to stage the Otago Daily Times Cup final at Forsyth Barr Stadium on September 12.