Kia ora,

It's been an eventful couple of weeks for the Manawatū Rugby community. Some highlights:

  • The New Zealand Under 20 side won the inaugural Rugby Championship U20. Manawatū hooker Vernon Bason captained the side and was named in the tournament team. Fellow Manawatū players Sam Coles and Mosese Bason were also part of the New Zealand team. Next up is the World Rugby U20 Championship in South Africa from 29 June. 
  • The Manawatū Men's High Performance squad beat Hawke's Bay 56-45 in Napier. It's always good to get a win over our old rivals.
  • The local premier boys and under 16 girls secondary school competitions kicked off. The youth boys competitions start this weekend. 
  • Junior rugby is underway with 106 teams taking part across 10 grades. Among these is our first ever all girls grade.  


The Jubilee Cup - the award for the top Senior 1 team at the end of Round 1 - will be on the line this Saturday when Kia Toa takes on College Old Boys at Bill Brown Park. Both teams are unbeaten and separated on the ladder by just one bonus point, so it should be a great contest. 

After this weekend, the Senior 1 competition will split into the top five and bottom four teams for Round 2. Feilding Yellows is taking on Freyberg this Saturday, with both teams fighting for a top five finish. Te Kawau can make the top five if they beat Varsity with a four-try bonus point and Freyberg beat Yellows but don't get a bonus point.   


Manawatū players Maia Davis and Jai Tamati have been named in the New Zealand Sevens Development teams for tournaments in France. Manukura student Maia made her Cyclones debut last season, while Jai is in his first year in the Manawatū Rugby Academy. 

Jai will team up with nationally-contracted player Jayden Keelan, last year's Manawatū club rugby Best and Fairest award winner. We'll also have Manawatū representation on the sideline, with Kristina Sue being the Assistant Coach of the women's team. 


  • Howard Hinton Sevens 24-26 May, Tours
  •  EAAST Sevens - 1-3 June, Haguenau

Referees play a major role in making rugby happen but it can often be a thankless job. That's why we're holding a Referee Appreciation Day across the province tomorrow. Whether you're a player, coach, or supporter, take a moment to show the ref you appreciate the hard work they put in, It could be something simple as a hand shake or a thanks, or you could treat the ref to a drink or kai. 

Whatever you do to show your appreciation, make sure you snap a photo and send it to us via Facebook, post it to Instagram tagging @manawaturugby, or email it to


The Turbos kick off their Bunnings NPC campaign against Tasman on Sunday 11 August. In the leadup to the competition, we're announcing player signings and Turbos already under contract on our Facebook and Instagram. This week we announced TK Howden and Raymond Tuputupu will be part of the squad. Both players are products of the Manawatū Rugby Academy system. 

TK Howden has re-signed with the Turbos for 2024 and 2024. TK made his debut in 2020, his first year out of Feilding High School. Since then, the 193cm, loose forward has racked up 34 games in the green and white and grown into one of the Turbos' top players. A Hurricane and Māori All Black, TK was named the Turbos Forward of the Year last season.

Hooker Raymond Tuputupu is back for his second season with the Turbos. Raymond represented New Zealand Under 20 in 2022 and 2023. He made his Hurricanes debut as an 18-year-old in 2022 while the team were experiencing an injury crisis. Raymond started 2024 as a member of the Hurricanes wider squad, but again got the call up after to cover for injuries. The former Palmerston Norht Boys' High School player had a strong showing in his first start last week, scoring his maiden try. 

Have you signed up for the Beat Dan Carter Challenge yet? 

Try to beat DC's 273 goals in an hour, all while raising funds to help kids in the Pacific get clean water.

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

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

Find full details and register here.