New Zealand's provincial championship reverts to NPC moniker as new sponsor unveiled and competition formats confirmed
New Zealand Rugby and Bunnings Warehouse have announced a three-year deal to sponsor domestic competitions and support community rugby across the country.
Bunnings Warehouse will be the primary partner and naming rights sponsor of the Bunnings Warehouse National Provincial Championship (NPC), Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) presented by Bunnings Warehouse, Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship and Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20s presented by Bunnings Warehouse.
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said the Bunnings partnership was part of a shift in priorities for rugby’s national body.
“The past year has provided us with an opportunity to pause and reflect on our priorities and in Bunnings we have found a partner who shares our goal of putting rugby at the heart of every community.
“We are thrilled to have a partner who wants to help us grow the game and support the pathways that give the talented young people in our clubs the opportunity to represent their communities whether it’s through the Bunnings Warehouse NPC, the Farah Palmer Cup, Super Rugby Aotearoa Under 20s or the Heartland Championship.
“Bunnings Warehouse are synonymous with DIY, so I guess it’s fitting they have decided to roll their sleeves up and support our clubs and NZR and our Provincial Unions will be right there with them.”
NZR General Manager Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said 2021 was shaping up as a special year for provincial rugby.
“We’re seeing a resurgence in interest in our communities after a tough year for everyone. A lot of people are going back to their clubs to connect with friends and whanau and no doubt that support will transfer into our flagship domestic competitions.
“After looking at some format changes, the Bunnings Warehouse NPC will remain in its current 14-team premiership-championship format in 2021 including crossover matches between the two divisions. The Farah Palmer Cup presented by Bunnings will revert to the same format after splitting into north and south pools for the COVID-disrupted 2020 season.”
The draws for both competitions and the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championships will be announced shortly.
– NZ Rugby
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