The countdown is well and truly underway for the start of the 2019 Wellington club rugby season with just a month left before the much anticipated first kick-off of the Premier and Premier Reserve competitions.
As most followers of our great game know, there will be some changes coming up in the Premier and Premier Reserve grades this season, including three less games in the first round following discussions with Clubs after last season. That means the season will start a week later than normal and will feature home and away matches with no Gala Day opening.
The players will appreciate the fact there will also be no Anzac Day round in 2019 or any double headers or mid-week night fixtures. That will allow teams to focus on being their best week-to-week with plenty of recovery time.
The pinnacle of the season – Club Finals Day will also be held a week earlier on Saturday, July 27. More details on this will be announced over the coming months including the number of matches, venue and format of the day.
For those looking forward to the remaining grades kicking off, then that is likely to happen on Saturday, April 6.
There are plenty of highlights in the opening weeks of the Swindale Shield, with a repeat of last year’s final between champions Old Boys University and Northern United scheduled for week two. It’s certainly going to be a big year for OBU as they aim to make it a three-peat of Jubilee Cup wins although they will face stiff competition from a number of quality sides including last year’s beaten finalists Northern United.
If you can’t wait for a taste of club rugby, then head to Maidstone Park Artificial this Saturday as Upper Hutt Rams and Hutt Old Boys Marist are participating in the only pre-season match this weekend. The remaining clubs are all but next weekend.
As we all know, club rugby is a fantastic way of bringing communities together, the countdown is on. For the Swindale and Harper Lock Shield draws go to www.wrfu.co.nz/senior/draws-results/