The Heartland Championship features a modified round robin, developed in conjunction with the Provincial Unions, which will be played over eight weeks.
Each team plays eight of the other 11 teams in the competition. This is the same format as played last year.
Key features of the competition are:
- It starts on Saturday 22 August 2020 and will run for ten weeks - an eight-week regular season followed by two weeks of Semifinals and the Finals
- Each team will play four matches at home and four away during the regular season
- Each team will not play three of the other teams during the regular season
- The top four teams after the round robin will play for the Meads Cup
- Teams finishing in places 5-8 after the round robin will play for the Lochore Cup
MEADS CUP AND LOCHORE CUP SEMIFINALS AND FINALS
The teams that finish first to fourth at the conclusion of round robin, based on their competition points, will contest for the Meads Cup. The first semifinal will feature the teams seeded 1 and 4; the second semifinal, teams seeded 2 and 3, with the first ranked team of each match as the host union.
The teams seeded five to eight at the conclusion of round robin, based on their competition points, will contest for the Lochore Cup. The first semifinal will feature the teams seeded 5 and 8; the second semifinal will be contested by the teams finishing in 6th and 7th, with the first ranked team of each match as the host union.
Meads Cup and Lochore Cup Finals will be played on the last weekend of the Heartland Championship.
Roll of Honour
2006 Wairarapa Bush
2007 North Otago
2010 North Otago
2012 East Coast
2013 Mid Canterbury
2014 Mid Canterbury
2018 Thames Valley
2019 North Otago
2006 Poverty Bay
2007 Poverty Bay
2008 Poverty Bay
2009 North Otago
2010 Wairarapa Bush
2011 Poverty Bay
2013 South Canterbury
2015 King Country
2016 North Otago
2017 Mid Canterbury
2018 Horowhenua Kapiti
2019 South Canterbury
The eight-week competition will be followed by semifinals on 17 October, with the Meads Cup and Lochore Cup champions decided on 24 and 25 October respectively.