Canterbury’s NPC side are taking their pre-season games on the road, facing off against neighbours Tasman for the third year in a row in Hanmer Springs on Friday July 23rd. Following this fixture, they head south to take on old foes Otago in Timaru on Thursday the 29th.
The Canterbury mens side will head to the alpine village a day early, where they will run several skills and drills activities as well as engagement opportunities with the local kids. “It’ll be exciting to spend a little more time in Hanmer Springs this year, where we’ll take advantage of the opportunity to engage with the community there, especially with it being during the school holidays. We’d hope there’s plenty of people there from right across Canterbury,” said Canterbury Co-Coach Reuben Thorne.
Shane Adcock from Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa said, “we can’t wait to once again host the Canterbury vs Tasman pre-season game, now in its third year. It has proven to be a popular event, and this year, with it being part of our new Alpine Winter Festival and being held during school holidays, we are looking forward to a bumper crowd and a bumper day in Hanmer Springs.”
The July 23rd clash will be Canterbury’s first hit out for the year, exciting co-coach Mark Brown ahead of the newly named Bunnings NPC. “The game will be the first opportunity for any new squad members to pull on the jersey which is always a special occasion, and for existing squad members it’s a great way to kick off the 2021 campaign. It’ll be awesome for those guys to be out in the community, connecting with the people they represent when they pull the Canterbury jersey on.”
The Canstaff Metro Premier Men’s Finals will be held two days later at Rugby Park, before the team heads to Timaru to take on Otago.
“The Otago game gives us an opportunity to try a few more combinations out and ensure all of the squad has some meaningful game time under their belts,” said Thorne. “Equally, South Canterbury is very much a part of our Canterbury region and who we represent, so it’ll be a great chance to connect with the community there too.”
“Taking these two games on the road to the wider parts of our region is a great chance for us to connect with our fanbase,” said CRFU CEO Tony Smail. “The community game is strong in all of Canterbury, and we hope by engaging with all communities we can add value to their love for rugby.”
Canterbury are the current holders of the Hanmer Springs Trophy following last years win.