Club rugby season kicks off soon
Tawa’s premier rugby team’s quest to get into the history books will be kicked off with a tough match against Marist St Pat’s on the opening day of the 2017 club rugby season.
The just-released Swindale Shield draw has a gala day on March 18 at Upper Hutt’s Awakairangi and Maoribank parks.
Tawa’s game against MSP is likely to be the feature of the first round, with the Lyndhurst Parkbased club looking to become the third consecutive side to win the Swindale Shield the year after winning the Jubilee Cup.
Doug Fletcher has signed on for another season as Tawa’s coach and he will be aided by Wellington and former Highlanders representative Shaun Treeby, who is likely to play as well.
Treeby takes over from Willie Lafaele, who left the assistant coach role at the end of the season.
Gerard Fasavalu will continue as Northern United’s coach, with a focus on getting into the Jubilee Cup. His assistants will be Rob Aloe and Tane Langdon-Lane, while Matt Poutoa continues with the women’s team.
Phil Gibb has taken over the helm at Paremata Plimmerton from Javan Brown and he’ll be assisted by Mike Hunter, the two having worked at HorowhenuaKapiti previously.
On February 14, Wellington Rugby Football Union also released details of changes to the club rugby competition format, following consultation with clubs.
In the Swindale Shield and Harper Lock competitions, there will be a 13-game round robin, which includes matches on the afternoon of Anzac Day.
The second-round Jubilee Cup format remains unchanged, but there are major differences to the Hardham Cup.
It will be reduced from eight to six teams, will only be contested by premier teams and will a home-and-away format, with no finals.
The Jubilee and Hardham Cup rounds are scheduled to start on June 10 with the Jubilee Cup final pegged for August 5 or 6.
The opening matches on March 18 for the Porirua basin sides, all 2.45pm:
Tawa v Marist St Awakairangi Park No 4
Northern United v Petone, Awakairangi Park No 2
Paremata Plimmerton v Oriental-Rongotai, Maoribank Park No 1 Pat’s,
The Tawa team celebrate with the Jubilee Cup.