A new national club rugby competition restricted to under 85kg players is scheduled to kick off in New Zealand later this year.
Putting the weight into perspective, no current England international would be eligible to play while France’s diminutive playmaker Antoine Dupont is right on the fresh-hold.
The NZR today announced the National Club Cup which is open to all rugby clubs in the country and will be played as a knockout format.
NZR Head of Participation and Development Steve Lancaster said the new initiative was about reinvigorating and growing weight-restricted club rugby.
“This comp gives extra credibility to an important club grade. It’s an exciting opportunity for players from around the country to be involved in weight-restricted rugby and have a crack at making a national final.
“There’s real appetite from provincial unions to grow weight-restricted rugby in their regions and provide more ways for people to play. This is one initiative to help support that growth.”
Clubs will compete within their local regions in the early rounds of the competition before moving through to a national draw from the quarterfinals onwards.
A national final is scheduled to be played in mid-August at a venue of significance.