The Magpies will be hoping to fare better than the two previous holders Taranaki and Otago who both lost the shield on their first attempt to defend it.
In the Premiership, Auckland and Tasman meet in a mouth-watering top of the table clash at Eden Park on Saturday afternoon.
Find your key match information and team lists below. Note: teams are added as they are named.
Hawke’s Bay v Northland (RS)
Friday 16 October, 7.05pm, McLean Park, Napier
Won: Hawke’s Bay 16, Northland 20, 1 drawn
Last match: Hawke’s Bay 43, Northland 28
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Statchat (Opta): Hawke’s Bay have won four of their last five games against Northland, scoring 41 points per game in those victories.
1: Pouri Rakete-Stones 2: Ash Dixon 3: Joe Apikotoa 4: Geoff Cridge 5: Tom Parsons, 6: Marino Mikaele-Tu’u 7: Brendon O’Connor 8: Devan Flanders 9: Folau Fakatava 10: Lincoln McClutchie 11: Jonah Lowe 12: Ollie Sapsford 13: Stacey Ili 14: Lolagi Visinia 15: Kurt Baker
Reserves: Kianu Kereru-Symes, Jason Long, Joel Hintz, Isaia Walker-Leaware, Gareth Evans, Connor McLeod, Caleb Makene, Neria Fomai
1-Ross Wright, 2-Jordan Olsen, 3- Kalolo Tuiloma, 4-Josh Goodhue 5-Sam Caird, 6-Tom Robinson, 7-Kara Pryor, 8-Matt Matich, 9-Sam Nock, 10-Dan Hawkins, 11-Pisi Leilua, 12-Blake Hohaia, 13-Rene Ranger, 14-Jone Macilai, 15- Scott Gregory
Reserves: 16-Paddy Atkins, 17-Luatangi Li, 18- Coree Te Whata-Colley, 19- Temo Mayanavanua 20-Rob Rush, 21-Will Grant, 22-Johnny Cooper, 23-Kalani Going
Manawatu v Bay of Plenty
Saturday 17 October, 2.05pm, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North
Won: Bay of Plenty 22, Manawatu 11, 2 drawn
Last match: Bay of Plenty 64, Manawatu 3
Referee: Jono Bredin
Statchat (Opta): Manawatu have lost their last six Mitre 10 Cup matches, the last time they endured a longer losing run was an eight-match span from August to October in 2009.
1: Chris Eves 2: Sam Stewart 3: Michael Alaalatoa 4: Micaiah Torrance-Read 5: Teofilo Paulo 6: Liam Mitchell 7: Johnny Galloway 8: Tyler Laubscher 9: Jamie Booth 10: Stewart Cruden 11: Tudreu Newton 12: James Tofa 13: Josiah Maraku 14: Nigek Ah Wong 15: Nehe Milner-Skudder
Reserves: Siua Maile, Solomona Sakalia, Kyle Stewart, Sam Liebezeit, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Bryn Wilson, Ben Wyness, Drew Wild
Bay of Plenty
1: Jordan Lay, 2: Kurt Eklun, 3: Ross Geldenhuys, 4: Stan Van den Hoven, 5: Keepa Mewett, 6: Kane Le'aupepe, 7: Joe Johnston 8: Joe Tupe, 9: Luke Campbell, 10: Otere Black, 11: Regan Ware 12: Chase Tiatia, 13: Mathew Skipwith-Garland, 14: Joe Webber, 15: Kaleb Trask
Reserves: Nic Souchon, Tevita Mafileo, Jeff Thwaites, Scott Curry, Sam Dickson, Leroy Carter, Dan Hollinshead, Cole Forbes
Wellington v North Harbour
Saturday 17 October, 2.05pm, Sky Stadium
Won: Wellington 20, North Harbour 13
Last match: North Harbour 42, Wellington 34
Referee: James Doleman
Statchat (Opta): North Harbour have scored 40+ points in each of their last two Mitre 10 Cup matches, the last time they scored as many in more consecutive games was a three-match span in the 1995 National Provincial Championship.
1-Xavier Numia, 2-James O’Reilly, 3-Alex FIdow, 4-James Blackwell, 5-Naitoa Ah Kuoi, 6-Vaea Fifita, 7-Du'Plessi Kirifi (C), 8-Teariki Ben-Nicholas, 9-Kemara Hauiti-Parapara, 10-Jackson Garden-Bachop, 11-Julian Savea, 12-Vince Aso 13-Peter Umaga-Jensen, 14-Wes Goosen, 15- Billy Proctor
Reserves: 16-Tyrone Thompson, 17-Morgan Poi, 18-Ben Aumua-Peseta, 19-Caleb Delany, 20-Mateaki Kafatolu, 21-Connor Collins, 22-Aidan Morgan, 23-Ruben Love
1: Nic Mayhew, 2: Luteru Tolai, 3: Sione Mafileo, 4: Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5: Jacob Pierce, 6: Ethan Roots, 7: Dillon Hunt, 8: Murphy Taramai, 9: Bryn Hall, 10: Bryn Gatland, 11: Tomas Aoake, 12: James Little, 13: Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 14: Jared Page, 15: Shaun Stevenson
Reserves: Zane Turner, Teague McElroy, Jimmy Roots, Xavier Cowley-Tuioti, Tim Sail,-Lewis Gjaletma, Jack Heighton, Inisi Finau
Auckland v Tasman
Saturday 17 October, 4.35pm, Eden Park
Won: Auckland 6, Tasman 6, Drawn 1
Last match: Tasman 18, Auckland 9 (19 October 2019)
Referee: Ben O’Keeffe
Statchat (Opta): Tasman have won four of their last five Mitre 10 Cup games against Auckland (L1), after winning only one of their five meetings prior (D1, L3).
1. James Lay 2. Leni Apisai 3. Marcel Renata 4. Scott Scrafton 5. Jack Whetton 6. Adrian Choat 7. Blake Gibson 8. Waimana Reidlinger-Kapa 9. Jonathan Ruru 10. Harry Plummer 11. Salesi Rayasi 12. TJ Faiane © 13. Tumua Manu 14. AJ Lam 15. Zarn Sullivan
Reserves: Michelangelo Sosene-Feagai, Jarred Adams, Marco Fepulea’i, Hamish Dalzell, Niko Jones, Danny Tusitala, Simon Hickey, Tanielu Tele’a
1: Isileli Tuungafasi 2: Andrew Makalio 3: Tyrell Lomax 4: Alex Ainley 5: Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta 6: Jacob Norris 7: Sione Talitu Havili 8: Hugh Renton 9: Finlay Christie 10: Mitchell Hunt 11: Leicester Faingaanuku 12: Alex Nankivell 13: Kieron Fonotia 14: Mark Telea 15: David Havili
Reserves: Quentin MacDonald, Ryan Coxon, Samuel Matenga, Isaac Ross, Braden Stewart, Louie Chapman, Fetuli Paea, Sevu Reece
Southland v Taranaki
Saturday 17 October, 7.05pm, Rugby Park, Invercargill
Won: Southland 20, Taranaki 35, drawn 1
Last match: Taranaki 19, Southland 0 (26 September 2019)
Referee: James Munro
Statchat (Opta): Each of Southland’s last five Mitre 10 Cup matches has been decided by a margin of six points or less on the day (W2, L3); the Stags have led at halftime only once in that stretch.
1: Ethan De Groot 2: Greg Pleasants-Tate 3: Siate Tokolahi 4: Michael McKee 5: Raymond Tatafu 6: Charles Alaimalo 7: Mathew James 8: Tony Lamborn 9: Raniera Takarangi 10 Scott Eade 11: Rory van Vugt 12: Raymond Nu’u 13: Isaac Te Tamaki 14: Penikolo Latu 15: Joshua Moorby
Reserves: Sabastian Siataga, Joseph Walsh, Christopher Apoua, Craig Smith, Glenn Preston, Liam Howley, Gregory Dyer, Tevita Latu
1-Jared Proffit 2- Ricky Riccitelli, 3- Reuben O’Neill,, 4- Josh Lord, 5-Findlamor Hoeata, 6-Mitchell Brown 7-Lachlan Boshier ©, 8- Pita Gus Sowakula, 9- Warwick Lahmert, 10-Stephen Perofeta, 11-Lewis Ormand, 12-Daniel Waite, 13-Sean Wainui ©, 14-Jacob Raumaitayuki-Kneepkens, 15-Jayson Potroz
Reserves: 16- Bradley Slater, 17-Chris Gawler, 18-Donald Brighouse, 19- Kaylum Boshier, 20-Mitchell Crosswell, 21- Lisati Milo-Harris, 22-Codey Rei, 23-Lukas Halls
Canterbury v Waikato
Sunday 18 October, 1.15pm, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch
Won: Canterbury 33, Waikato 19, drawn 1
Last match: Waikato 31, Canterbury 28 (10 August 2019)
Referee: Richard Kelly
Statchat (Opta): Waikato are aiming for consecutive victories over Canterbury for the first time since a four-match span from 1997 to 1999.
1: Daniel Lienert-Brown 2: Shilo Klein 3: Tamaiti Williams 4: Luke Romano 5: Sam Darry 6: Reed Prinsep © 7: Tom Christie 8: Whetukamokamo Douglas 9: Mitchell Drummond 10: Fergus Burke 11: Josh McKay 12: Rameka Poihipi 13: Ngatungane Punivai 14: Chay Fihaki 15: Andrew Knewstubb
Reserves: Scott Mellow, Lewis Ponini, Fletcher Newell, Caleb Aperahama, Billy Harmon, Enari Ereatara , Brett Cameron, Isaiah Punivai
1: Robb Cobb 2: Samisoni Taukei’aho 3: Josh Iosefa-Scott 4: Hamilton Burr 5: Samipeni Finau 6: Adam Thomson 7: Mitch Jacobsen 8: Luke Jacobsen 9: Xavier Roe 10: Rivez Reihana 11: Patrick Osborne 12: Bailyn Sullivan 13: Quinn Tupaea 14: Liam Coombes-Fabling 15: Beaudein Waaka
Reserves: Steven Misa, Ollie Norris, Sefo Kautai, James Thompson, Liam Messam, Cortez Ratima, Louis Rogers, Gideon Wrampling
Otago v Counties Manukau
Sunday 18 October, 1.15pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedi
Won: Otago 18, Counties Manukau 19
Last match: Counties Manukau 16, Otago 14 (8 October 2019)
Referee: Angus Mabey
Statchat (Opta): Opposition teams have conceded 17 turnovers per game against Counties Manukau in the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup season, the most versus any side in the campaign.