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2020 Mitre 10 Cup draw for defending Champions

By Peter Jones [Marlborough Weekly / Marlborough App]

The Tasman Mako were handed home games against Northland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Southland and Canterbury when the revised Mitre 10 Cup provincial rugby draw was released by NZR.

The defending champs will meet Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Southland at Trafalgar Park in Nelson, while fixtures against Northland and Canterbury at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim will bookend their home fixture list. The Southland showdown was originally pencilled in for Motueka, but is now scheduled for Trafalgar Park. 

The Mitre 10 Cup will start on September 11 and run for 12 weeks, it was confirmed by NZ Rugby today. 

With NZ Rugby deciding against Thursday matches this year, seven games will be squeezed into three days. One match will be played Friday, then three on both Saturday and Sunday. Two games will be played at 2.05pm each Sunday. The semifinals are set down for November 20-21, with the finals a week later on November 27-28. 

NZR said that Sky TV were committed to broadcasting two matches a week free-to-air on Prime, but did not say whether they would be live or delayed. 

The Ranfurly Shield will officially go on the line in August with holders Canterbury defending against Heartland side North Otago on August 28. Should Canterbury win, they are scheduled to put the shield on the line against Taranaki, Wellington, Waikato, Otago and Auckland in their home NPC games.