Heartland Championship

Grassroots, domestic provincial rugby in New Zealand

The Heartland Championship started in 2006 as a progression on from the NPC, which had started in 1976.

From 2006 until 2010 there were 12 teams, split into 2 pools of 6 teams each. Each team played the others in the pool and at the end of these matches the top 3 teams in each pool combined to play in the Meads Cup. The other 3 teams in each pool combined to play in the Lochore Cup.

Each team then played the other 3 teams that they had not already played. Following this the top 4 teams in each competition played semi-finals and a final.

In 2011 the format was changed. There was only 1 pool of 12 teams. Teams played 8 of the other teams, after which the top 4 (teams 1-4 on the table) went into the Meads Cup and the next 4 (teams 5-8 on the table) went into the Lochore Cup. There were semi-finals and a final for each competition. The format has remained the same since these changes were made.

The 2020 Heartland Championship was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The winner of the Meads Cup could gain promotion to the Mitre 10 Cup Championship competition.

Heartland Championship Teams

  • Thames Valley
  • East Coast
  • Poverty Bay
  • King Country
  • Wanganui
  • Kapiti Horowhenua
  • Wairarapa Bush
  • Buller
  • West Coast
  • Mid Canterbury
  • South Canterbury
  • North Otago

2023 Heartland Championship Results
Click on the link above for the Heartland Championship results and competition table.

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