Bunnings Warehouse NPC and Heartland Championship 2024 draws

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The NPC is set to kick off on Friday 9 August at 5.35pm, which will see defending champions Taranaki host the season opener against Counties Manukau at Yarrow Stadium. On the Saturday, a local South Island derby between Southland and Otago also features in round one at Rugby Park, Invercargill.  

Hawke’s Bay put the Ranfurly Shield on the line for the first time of the season against Southland in week two at McLean Park (4.35pm kick-off) and Northland have a potential shield challenge in week three. 


NZR General Manager Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said with plenty of teams in action, he’s excited to see fans engage and support their local teams.  

“Family-friendly kick-off times are a priority for provincial rugby again this year, enabling as many fans as possible to catch all the action live. 

“Across both the Bunnings Warehouse NPC and Farah Palmer Cup presented by Bunnings Warehouse we will also have 18 double-headers, including five that are identical match-ups, like in round one where both Waikato and Bay of Plenty’s men’s and women’s teams will clash at FMG Stadium. 

“As part of the Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship build up, South Canterbury and King Country have opportunities to challenge Hawke’s Bay for the Ranfurly Shield. It’s amazing how the Heartland teams rise to this challenge and these are two matches that I’m looking forward to,” Lancaster said. 

All 12 Heartland teams will compete in an eight-week round robin, with the top four teams progressing to the Meads Cup semi-finals and the next four going through to the Lochore Cup semi-finals.  

The competition kicks off on 17 August at 2.00pm with a Bill Osborne Taonga challenge match between East Coast and Buller at Whakarua Park in Ruatoria.  

A repeat of the Meads and Lochore Cup Finals also headline the opening round on 17 August, which sees Whanganui welcome South Canterbury to Cooks Garden (Meads) and West Coast take on Poverty Bay at John Sturgeon Park (Lochore).  

Three-time champions (2021, 2022, 2023) South Canterbury enter the season on the back of a 31-game winning streak and will welcome their fans back to their spiritual home of Fraser Park for the first time since 2021 when they host Wairarapa-Bush in round two (24 August).  

King Country and Thames Valley will meet under the new lights at Rugby Park in Te Kuiti in week three with the fixture set to kick off at 5.30pm.  


Bunnings Warehouse National Provincial Championship 2024 teams (14):   

  • Auckland  
  • Bay of Plenty  
  • Canterbury  
  • Counties Manukau  
  • Hawke’s Bay 
  • Manawatū 
  • North Harbour  
  • Northland  
  • Otago  
  • Southland  
  • Taranaki  
  • Tasman  
  • Waikato 
  • Wellington

Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship 2024 teams (12):  

  • Buller  
  • East Coast  
  • Horowhenua Kapiti  
  • King Country  
  • Mid Canterbury  
  • North Otago  
  • Poverty Bay  
  • South Canterbury  
  • Thames Valley  
  • Wairarapa Bush  
  • West Coast  
  • Whanganui