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Short Passes – 4 March

Above: Chase Tiatia in action on debut for the Hurricanes on Friday night. PHOTO: Dave Brownlie. Full gallery at

Just under three weeks to go before the greatest show in town kicks off. Check out the first week Swindale Shield draw HERE

The first weekend of March saw many clubs in action in pre-season fixtures. Several local clubs played against each other, while others hit the road. For example, Northern United had two successful early season hit-outs in the Hawke’s Bay against Clive and Taradale.

Several pre-season matches this coming weekend. Both Hutt Old Boys Marist and Marist St Pat’s will be attending the annual Spillane tournament in New Plymouth.

Games closer to home on 9 March include:

Johnsonville v Spotswood (Taranaki) at Helston Park

Paremata-Plimmerton v Tawa at Lyndhurst Park

Wainuiomata v Poneke at William Jones Park

Wellington v Oriental-Rongotai at TBC

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The Black Ferns contracted squad was announced last week. The squad goes into camp for the first time this coming weekend in Palmerston North, building towards two Tests against Australia on 10 and 17 August in Perth and Auckland.

The Wellington players selected are: Marcelle Parkes (Marist St Pat’s), Jackie Patea-Fereti (Petone), Ayesha Leti-I’iga (Oriental-Rongotai), Dhys Faleafaga (Northern United) and Monica Tagoai (Marist St Pat’s).

A hat-trick of tries on Friday night for Hurricanes midfielder Ngani Laumape, playing at home at Palmerston North. Below Laumape leads the Palmerston North Boys’ High School team into battle in a first XV match. PHOTO: Hugh Pretorius.

The Hurricanes play the Highlanders this coming Friday night at Westpac Stadium, kick-off 7.35pm.

Elsewhere, the Blues have lost 5 in a row going back to last year. Must be the worst start ever by NZ teams in Super Rugby, with two teams 0-3 after the Chiefs were downed by the Sunwolves?

The All Black Sevens have been rolling the dice at the Las Vegas Sevens this weekend.

New Zealand, USA, Samoa and Argentina all progressed through to the Cup semi-finals of the HSBC USA Sevens after another enthralling day of action at the Sam Boyd Stadium.  With the tournament taking place over three days, this middle day was a combination of the conclusion of the pool stage and the first of the knockout matches as the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals and Cup quarter-finals finished day two. Read more HERE UPDATE: New Zealand missed out to the USA 19-24 in the semi-finals.

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The 96th annual McEvedy Shield athletics event between Wellington College (going for a five-peat), St Pat’s Town, St Pat’s Silverstream and Rongotai College is this Tuesday at Newtown Park. It gets underway at 9am runs through to mid afternoon.

The first schools 7s event of the year was held at Palmerston North on Saturday and Sunday, the annual Sir Gordon Tietjens 7s. Highlights were two ‘rare’ matches between Manawatu rivals Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Feilding High School and the dominance of Hamilton Girls’ High School. The two boys schools met in the last match on day one, with Feilding winning 26-12. This was reversed in the final on Sunday, PNBHS pipping Feilding 22-21. In the girls section, Hamilton GHS swept to the title in a field that also included recent leading schools Howick College and Manukura. It is hard to see defending Condor 7s champions Hamilton GHS losing a game this year.

WRFU Academy Profiles. Look out for some player profiles of WRFU Academy players on Union channels starting this week.

The 2019 National Provincial Championship (NPC) and Heartland Championship draws were released last week.

Kicking off a week earlier than in previous years, the Mitre 10 Cup [NPC] will run 10 weeks of round robin with matches played between Thursday and Sunday, following the removal of Wednesday night fixtures from the draw.

The season opens on Chunuck Bair Remembrance Day on 8 August and the Wellington Lions are in action on Saturday 10 August against the Tasman Mako in Nelson. They meet the Hawke’s Bay Magpies in Napier on Friday 16 August, before hosting the Canterbury Rams in Wellington on Friday 23 August.

The 12 Heartland Unions kick into action two weeks later on Saturday 24 August with teams vying for the prestigious Meads and Lochore Cups.

The 2019 Women’s Farah Palmer Cup is yet to be released. Club Rugby understands the NZRU is waiting on confirmation of the viability of some unions in regards to their depth and competitiveness.

In due course we will have all these draws up on our website too.

Palmerston North’s College Old Boys are holding their 100th anniversary on Queen’s Birthday Weekend. For more see below or visit their website HERE

Japan faces roadblocks in growing rugby.  Japan, hosts of this year’s rugby World Cup, appear set to be kneecapped by their own union in their lofty bid to bring a million new players into the game in the land of the rising sun.

Japan pulled off the biggest upset in World Cup history in 2015, beating the Springboks, but they’ll need a even bigger miracle if they’re to bring rugby into the mainstream of Japanese sport.The country has exposed hundreds of thousands of new people to the sport, but those participants were often involved in a one-off experience, and in reality, actual player numbers are on the slide. READ MORE HERE

Summer has been sizzling, and so was pre-season rugby at Ian Galloway Park on Saturday:

Pacific Island nations are considering a boycott of this year’s Rugby World Cup in protest at plans to revamp the international Test calendar.

A World Rugby proposal suggests creating a 12-team World League from 2020 – with nations such as Samoa, Fiji and Tonga potentially not included.

Pacific Rugby Players’ Welfare wants its 600 members to discuss the boycott. Read more HERE 

Looking at the 2000 Wellington Sevens final between New Zealand and Fiji:

In Monday morning news, Experienced South African lock Andries Ferreira has joined the Hurricanes squad for the remainder of the  Super Rugby season. The 28-year-old arrived in Wellington on Saturday and joined the squad on Sunday for his first training run. Ferreira replaces Sam Lousi who has suffered a season ending pectoral muscle injury which required surgery. He comes to the Hurricanes having played for the Cheetahs and Lions in Super Rugby while he also had a brief stint in the French Top 14 with Toulon as injury cover.

Short passes is Club Rugby’s  news in briefs and noticeboard column for 2019.

If you have news, notices or want a shout-out for anything email or send us a message on social media. Club Rugby also welcomes assistance in putting this together, so if you want to help in the news in brief-gathering process please get in touch.

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