Kia ora, 

We're getting into the thick of the footy season now with junior rugby staring this weekend. We have 1391 players across 106 teams and 10 clubs taking part in our junior grades. If you're on the sidelines, remember the main thing is that the kids have fun. 

The first three weeks of the draw are live on our website

Some highlights from the past couple of weeks: 

  • The Women's Prue Christie Cup and X Grade club competitions kicked. off. The X Grade is a new second-tier 10-a-side competition.  
  • Manukura girls' sevens team finished fourth in the Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament in Japan.
  • 26 secondary school teams took part in premier grading at Coronation Park last weekend. This Saturday we have 27 teams participating in youth grading. 
  • Palmerston North hosted the Hurricanes First XV festival last Saturday, which included Palmerston North Boys' High School taking on Feilding High School. PNBHS claimed the 36-22 win in front of a great crowd. 


Manawatū Cyclones Layla Sae and Kaipo Olsen-Baker have been named in the Black Ferns' Pacific Four Series opener against USA this Saturday. Sae (three caps) is starting at number eight, while Olsen-Baker (two caps) is on the bench. It's great to see two quality Manawatū loosies pulling on the black jersey in the same game. 

Catch the game on Sky Sport 1 at 2.05pm.



We're proud to see Manawatū Turbo and academy member Vernon Bason captaining the New Zealand team at the Rugby Championship U20 in Australia. This is Vernon's second year in the team. 

Vernon's younger brother Mosese made his debut off the bench in New Zealand's opening match against against South Africa. The teams were locked at 13-13 at full time in very wet conditions. 

Fellow Manawatū Academy player Sam Coles debuted in the team's 43-20 win against Argentina this past Tuesday.

New Zealand leads the competition heading into their final match against  Australia on Sunday 12 May. 

Last week we put out an SOS on our social media channels for new referees to help tackle the referee shortage we have in the province. So far we've had a really good response, but we can certainly do with more refs. 

Refereeing is a great way for past players to stay in the game or rugby lovers looking for a way to be involved without playing - particularly secondary and tertiary students.   

Become an specialist assistant referee - If you want to get involved with officiating but don't necessarily want to be the person in the middle with the whistle, there is the option of just being an assistant referee. After spending time running the flag, you might then decide you're ready to make the step up to referee.  

Register your interest here and we'll be in touch to chat about the next step. 

This May and June, we’re asking people of all ages and abilities to join the Beat Dan Carter challenge. See how many goals you can kick in an hour, all while raising funds to help kids in the Pacific get clean water. DC kicked 273 goals. 

Sign up as an individual or team and ask your friends and family to sponsor you - they can donate a dollar amount per goal or make a general donation. 

Start practicing now and complete your challenge anytime between 3 June and 17 June.

Find full details and register here.