New Zealand teams announce pre-season fixtures

Date published: January 12 2017

New Zealand rugby has announced the pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2017 Super Rugby tournament.

The fixtures include the Brisbane Tens competition, and games that will be played in rural locations throughout New Zealand, with the Farmlands Cup up for grabs. The trophy was shared last season when the Crusaders hosted the Highlanders in Waimumu and the game ended 19-19. This year the two sides will play in Darfield on February 4.

Farmlands CEO Peter Reidie said the cup was about taking the game back to rural communities.

"The Farmlands Cup is all about bringing rugby back to the grassroots – the local communities that foster our future rugby stars," Reidie told the Super Rugby website.

Meanwhile, Super Rugby 2016's winners the Hurricanes will square off against the Blues in Epsom, the Chiefs take on the Bulls in the Brisbane Tens before the Crusaders play the Hurricanes in Waverly and the Blues host the Chiefs in New Lynn.

Saturday 4 February: Crusaders v Highlanders at Darfield RFC, Darfield
Saturday 4 February: Blues v Hurricanes at Alexandra Park, Epsom
Thursday 9 February: Chiefs v Bulls at Ballymore Park, Brisbane
11-12 February: Brisbane Tens (all five teams involved)
Friday 17 February: Hurricanes v Crusaders, Border RFC, Waverley
Friday 17 February: Blues v Chiefs, Suburbs RFC, Auckland