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Heartland Championship Cancelled for 2020

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NZ Rugby and Provincial Unions have made a decision to cancel the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship for the 2020 season.

The decision also includes the cancellation of all representative programmes below Mitre 10 and Farah Palmer Cup.

The impacts of COVID-19 on the NZ rugby ecosystem are unprecedented and will have significant financial and social effects. Like all businesses impacted by this situation, we’ve had to look at ourselves and make compromises to see ‘rugby inc’ through.

Our priorities are, and will remain, our people and our community. Without people, we don’t have community rugby and without community rugby there is no Heartland rugby.

We’re also conscious that the Heartland team relies on community sponsorship. It takes a whole community to put a team together and so the last thing we want to do is ask our community to contribute when they are already under extreme financial pressure.

As the competition is the pinnacle of community rugby, this was not an easy decision to make, but given our priorities, and financial modelling undertaken, we realise it is the most prudent, estimated to save over $2m to ‘rugby inc’.

This decision was supported unanimously through Heartland (CEO’s and Chairs) and is for the year 2020 only and the Heartland competition will be reinstated in 2021.

We, as a union, understand how disappointing this is, but our priority is, and will always be, our communities.

We want to ensure we’re in a position to support our rugby community through this environment and be ready to play rugby when the window presents itself. If that window allows the opportunity to play some provincial games against our neighbours, then we will jump at the opportunity.

Take care of yourself and your whanau.

Nga mihi nui

Josh Willoughby
Chief Executive

Click on the following link to view NZ Rugby’s media release: