Draw format confirmed for 2015 Senior rugby

Wellington Rugby Football Union release

Wellington Rugby last night announced the clubs that will not play each other in the 2015 Swindale Shield competition.

Following a thorough consultation process, clubs were asked to submit a list of teams they did not wish to play, in order of preference. This process was necessary due to an expanded 14 team competition playing a first round of only 11 weeks.

During the consultation, clubs expressed no interest in playing midweek fixtures, or double-headers over a long weekend. After a number of options were tabled, the vote was in favour of a shortened first round in the Swindale Shield.

The process was overseen by WRFU president Butch Phelan, with the assistance of WRFU staff on Monday evening, before being announced at last night’s Club Rugby Board meeting.

Rugby Board chairman Peter Scott said this would create additional interest to what was already an exciting new competition format, introduced into Wellington club rugby for the first time in many seasons. This approach would also put the power in the hands of each club.

”This format of clubs choosing who not to play also applies to the Harper Lock Shield (Premier Reserve Grade), to ensure that both the Premier and Premier Reserve teams from each club play each other on the same day and at the same venue. We feel this is an exciting addition to Wellington club rugby in 2015.”

Phelan said the process ran extremely smoothly, however, a number of club-related factors still needed to be worked through, such as what would happen to current interclub trophy fixtures.

A draft draw for the upcoming season has been circulated to clubs for consultation, with a final version to be made public in early February.

The premier season will get underway with a gala day at Trentham Memorial Park on Saturday March 21.

Follow this link for more detail on the wider Senior rugby structure.

Clubs not playing each other in 2015:

Hutt Old Boys Marist

Paremata-Plimmerton

Wainuiomata

Wainuiomata

Avalon

Hutt Old Boys Marist

Marist St Pats

Wellington

Oriental-Rongotai

Oriental-Rongotai

Northern United

Marist St Pats

Upper Hutt Rams

Johnsonville

Tawa

Old Boys University

Petone

Northern United

Tawa

Poneke

Upper Hutt Rams

Petone

Old Boys University

Wellington

Poneke

Tawa

Johnsonville

Northern United

Oriental-Rongotai

Old Boys University

Wellington

Marist St Pats

Petone

Avalon

Wainuiomata

Paremata-Plimmerton

Johnsonville

Upper Hutt Rams

Poneke

Paremata-Plimmerton

Hutt Old Boys Marist

Avalon

Notes

Selection process

· Clubs were ranked 1-14 based on their final positions in the Jubilee and Hardham Cup competitions in 2014

1st round of club picks

· Team 14 received the first pick of the team they did not wish to play in 2015

· Teams who have been chosen, don’t get a pick in the first round of voting

2nd round of club picks

· Team 1 received the first pick of which team they did not wish to play in 2015

· Teams picked in the second round, don’t get a pick

· Teams must pick a different team in the second round. i.e. If Avalon chose not to play Ories in the first round of picks, Ories cannot chose Avalon in the second round.

Highlights of the draw:

· Season Opening Day – Saturday 21 March at Trentham Memorial Park. It will be themed as a gala day, with food vendors, and kids’ activities

· Easter weekend - Saturday April 4 (week three) – Just Saturday matches. This has previously been a double header on Friday and Monday

· ANZAC Weekend – Saturday 25 April (week Six) –WRFU Derby Day! Interclub rivalry at its best.

· College-Club Connection – Saturday 16 and 23 May (week nine and week ten) - school teams to play the curtain raiser to the Swindale Shield match at clubs. At this stage, on track for this to happen at 12 of the 14 premier clubs.

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