For the first time in many years Premier Clubs will have the full services of available Magpie players (not those playing in Super Rugby) right through to the final of the Maddison Trophy Final.
Club Rugby manager Gary Macdonald says the number of games across the season has been reduced by 20 to 19 games– over the Nash Cup and Maddison Trophy Rounds, so that there’s still a good gap before the Magpie season gets underway.
“The Maddison Trophy Final is usually in August but it will now be held on August 28. By having Magpie players available will breathe life into the competition and there’s some great new talent set to be on show this season.”
To enable the Maddison to feature Magpie players, the Nash Cup has been split into 2 pools of five clubs. After the pool round robin there’s quarters, semis and the final.
Gary says the teams are ranked based on their placings last season with pool 1 is 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and the other pool being 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. Each week in both pools there will be 2 competition games as well as a cross over game, which will not be for any points.
Gary says the concept has been well supported by the clubs, but the onus is on them to support it during the season and ensure that although the cross over games don’t earn points, the game must be played.
“They’re aware that if the default, there will be fines. But also this is a new concept and it’s not set in stone. We can look at it again at the end of the season and if it’s not working we can come up with something else.
In other grades the town and country division also starts this weekend while the 3rd and colts will start on April 7 and the women’s competition in June.