Mitre 10 Cup Games Coming To Manfeild
Manfeild will host two Manawatu Turbos games in the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup Championship after the venue received sign off from Sky TV and New Zealand Rugby Union.
The games at Manfeild have been made possible thanks to Manawatu Rugby Union, Manfeild, Manawatū District Council and Manawatu A & P Show. The four parties are working collectively to support one another and ensure that the venture is successful.
These games will be going ahead on 1 and 8 November with the Turbos taking on Southland and Taranaki respectively.
“Manfeild is well known for hosting major events like CD Field Days, the NZ Scout Jamboree and the NZ Grand Prix. We are excited to present a community showcase that everyone can enjoy when we host the Mitre 10 Cup at Manfeild in November,” says Manfeild CEO Kathy Gibson.
It’s a great coup for Manfeild, as like many other entertainment and sporting businesses, they had a number of events cancelled due to Level 4 lockdown and the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
“COVID-19 presented provincial NZ with many challenges but it has also created new opportunities which we must seize with open arms. This is a wonderful post lockdown catalyst that our community needs to bring the rural and urban parts of our District together,” says Kathy.
Manawatū District Council and Recreational Services are preparing the turf for the field that will be used for the games. This work includes spraying for weeds, sewing grass seed, fertilising and additional mowing as needed.
The cost of making sure the field is ready to be played on is $20,000, which is being covered by MDC. The Council are also providing a grant of $25,000 to Manawatu Rugby Union and are underwriting the event to the cost of the games up to a maximum of $50,000.
“These rugby games will be a great opportunity to see how other sports may fit and build onto the wide range of activities and events held at the Manfeild venue,” says Mayor Helen Worboys.
“The open grass area at Manfeild is a blank canvas with huge potential and I am excited about the community getting in behind both the rugby and the show events. This shows the power of working together and our willingness to packaging events, which in turn will provide an awesome experience for locals and visitors alike,” says Helen.
The Manawatu A & P Show is being held on the weekend of 7 and 8 November, and this year there is the added bonus of the rugby taking place also. Lawrence Satherley of the Manawatu A&P Show says the committee are incredibly excited to be joining up with Manawatu Rugby Union to host the Turbos at their annual show
“It’s a day to mark on your calendar not to be missed. November the 8th will feature the ever popular Animal Nursery along with horse events, livestock demonstrations, children’s entertainment and amazing food, followed by the Turbos playing Taranaki. Two rural provinces “battle” it out. What a day!!” says Lawrence.
The Mitre 10 Cup will be the strongest competition in many years, as All Blacks players are likely to be made available for their provinces. Plus, with COVID-19 still affecting many rugby playing countries, the normal exodus of players taking up overseas opportunities is on hold.
Manawatu Rugby Union Chief Executive Shannon Paku says that Feilding is a town that has provided some outstanding talent to the Turbos over the years, most notably the All Blacks most capped halfback, Aaron Smith and Turbos centurion Nick Crosswell.
“The Turbos team and coaching staff are excited by the opportunity to bring Mitre 10 Cup rugby to Feilding,” says Shannon.
“The Feilding community continues to foster exciting secondary schools talent with Drew Wild, Josiah Maraku and Griffin Culver all debuting for the Turbos last season and 2019 graduate TK Howden already contracted to the team for 2020,” Shannon adds.