2024 Club Rugby season begins

2024 Club Rugby season begins

The 2024 McNamara Cup season opens amidst intrigue on Saturday as the seven premier clubs battle it out to etch their name on the famous trophy.

Two-time reigning champions Manurewa head south to Karaka Sports Complex to face Karaka in a replay of last season’s epic grand final that saw Jeremy Clark’s side rally in the final minutes to secure a memorable victory.

Both teams will welcome some new faces to a well-established core that suggests both will be in the thick of it when the competition reaches its conclusion in July.

Last season’s round robin champions Pukekohe will host Ardmore Marist at Colin Lawrie Fields.

Pukekohe have been widely tipped to be the side to beat in 2024 and have added some new faces as well.

Ardmore Marist are a bit of an unknown quantity. They struggled last season at McNamara Cup level but the club has invested heavily on youth and will start to get the benefit of a second season in the U21 grade this year.

Dark horses Papakura, who were very impressive in their pre-season, will meet Patumahoe at Patumahoe Domain in a fascinating week one encounter.

Good numbers have been spotted at Papakura training this pre-season and they have added some talent to an already impressive young side from a season ago.

Patumahoe will be smarting from their semi-final exit last season and Brad Healy has added a couple of key additions to his group this season as well.

Bombay will have the opening week bye.

The Bob Chandler Cup Premier Reserve competition will see each team follow their Premier side again in 2024.

Defending Sid Marshall Shield champions Drury open their 2024 campaign with a battle against old foes Maramarua at Drury Domain.

Te Kohanga, losing finalists from a year ago, will make the trip north to face Weymouth in the opening week while Te Kauwhata hosts Tuakau at Te Kauwhata Domain.

Puni travels to Rugby Park in Waiuku in a match-up between two sides with plenty of history while Onewhero heads to Mountfort Park to face Manurewa in their week one clash.

Karaka and Manurewa will meet in the Massey Cup U21 competition at Karaka Sports Complex in a day of match-ups between the two clubs, while the other match features Pukekohe and Ardmore Marist from Colin Lawrie Fields in a day of contests between the two sides.

Patumahoe has the opening week bye.

In the Bright Cup U19 competition, Manurewa hosts Ardmore Marist at Mountfort Park, Weymouth hosts Puketapapa Roskill Sports while Waiuku is at home to Otahuhu.

The competition gets underway on Friday night with Pukekohe meeting the combined Tuakau, Te Kohanga and Onewhero side at Navigation Homes Stadium. Kick off for that game is 7.30pm.

A replay of last season’s U85kg competition final awaits in the opening week with Waiuku hosting Patumahoe.

Karaka heads to Te Puru Park to face Beachlands Maraetai while Pukekohe hosts Onewhero at Colin Lawrie Fields.

Drury has the bye.