31 July 2019
This year the Mitre 10 Cup has kicked off the 2019 season with teams digging in deep alongside budding young stars at Koru School in Mangere. This is the fourth year that Mitre 10 has backed the competition.
Players from 13 of the national provincial rugby teams in the competition came together for the official launch, nine days out from the first kick off.
The players rolled up their sleeves alongside Koru School kids to plant shrubs and plants along the front entrance of the school in a symbolic gesture of teams having strong community ties. The plants, garden mix, bark and tools were supplied by Mitre 10 Onehunga, who were on hand to support the efforts.
New Zealand Rugby Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said the Mitre 10 Cup continues to be an important breeding ground for talent in New Zealand.
“Year on year the Mitre 10 Cup will elevate players to become household names. There are players that this time last year were preparing for Mitre 10 Cup that now have their sights set on the Rugby World Cup.
“You can’t underestimate the history behind these traditional rivalries, it’s an exciting time of year for rugby fans right across the country,” said Cass.
Mitre 10's General Manager Marketing Jules Lloyd-Jones said Mitre 10 is proud to back local rugby, and local communities, across the country.
“Today was a great way to launch the Mitre 10 Cup, connecting with local kids and sharing in some hard work in the garden that they’ll see grow over time; a really fantastic way to kick off the season.
"Across the country our Mitre 10 Mums, Dads, Uncles, Aunts, Brothers and Sisters will again be on the side lines cheering and supporting their local and regional teams."
The Mitre 10 Cup kicks off on 8 August with Southland hosting their most northern rivals, Northland.
After 10 weeks of round robin, the top four teams in the Premiership and Championship will progress to the semifinals on 18 and 19 October, with the Finals the following weekend.
Otago has held on to the Ranfurly Shield over the summer and successfully defended it against Thames Valley and North Otago in preseason matches. Their first challenge in the Mitre 10 Cup will come from neighbour Southland in Week 2.
Check out the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup draw here and get along to support the teams this season.
The Mitre 10 Heartland Championship kicks off on 24 August and the Farah Palmer Cup is in action from 31 August; both competitions are also backed by Mitre 10.