Auckland Lock In South Island Age-group Matches
The Auckland Rugby League will host the South Island U16 and U18 boys' teams this October, as the two districts continue the partnership they kicked off last season.
The games are set down for Saturday, October 31, with the Auckland venue to be confirmed at a later date.
Last year the Auckland U19s travelled down to Christchurch to face their South Island counterparts, and ARL coaching and development manager Andy Hay said it's pleasing to be able to do it again in 2020.
"It presents the ARL with an opportunity to help grow the game a little bit more in other parts of New Zealand, while for our players this is a chance to represent their home region in a meaningful game," Hay said.
"We saw a lot of talent when we went down to the South Island last year and thought it would be good to have them come up to Auckland this time around."
The Auckland teams will be made up of players selected from the annual Region of Origin Series which will take place across the first three Saturdays in October.
Southern Zone general manager Steve Martin said working with the ARL was proving beneficial for the Zone.
"These types of opportunities further strengthen the partnership between the Southern Zone and Auckland, which has already seen sharing of resources and mutual support across a range of initiatives," Martin said.
"We are excited by the opportunity to bring a 16s and 18s team north for fixtures against Auckland sides.
"For our young men to test themselves against teams from the powerhouse of rugby league in New Zealand is a tremendous opportunity."