The countdown is on for Canterbury Rugby League’s grand opening at its new home, with only a month to go until the Rockcote Canterbury Bulls host the Warriors InTrust Super Premiership team at Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub.

The Warriors NRL Women’s coaching staff have also requested a trial match featuring the South Island’s top women’s players, which will kick off at 11:30am on Saturday, February 23, before the Bulls-Warriors clash at 1:30pm.

The occasion is sure to attract a bumper crowd Ngā Puna Wai and will also be live-streamed, providing a valuable sponsorship opportunity to prospective Canterbury companies and organisations.

Individual sponsorship space is available for an exclusive one-off jersey design of all 20 matchday Rockcote Canterbury Bulls players. The packages will allow sponsors to have their logo on the front of the jersey, the jersey framed following the match as well as ticket, promotion and signage opportunities on the day.

Meanwhile, ahead of one of the most eventful seasons the code has experienced in our region in recent times, Canterbury Rugby League welcomes Vaughan Utteridge on board as its new Sponsorship Manager.

Vaughan brings a wealth of experience in the Canterbury sports sector to CRL, including roles as Sport Liaison Advisor at Christchurch City Council, Recovery Manager at Sport Canterbury and CEO at Squash Canterbury.

“Its exciting to be directly involved in sport at a regional level again especially with all the exciting changes ahead that rugby league has in front of itself,” Utteridge says.

“Ngā Puna Wai is an amazing opportunity for sport in Canterbury and rugby league will be exposed to a wider audience and community beyond its existing membership base with all of the other use of this fantastic facility.”

The historic Ngā Puna Wai showdown provides the Andrew Auimatagi-coached Rockcote Bulls with a rare early-season fixture. The Bulls agonisingly missed out on the NZRL National Premiership final on for-and-against for the third straight year in 2018 but unearthed several exciting newcomers.

The Warriors have qualified for the last six ISP finals series, while many of their fringe players will be using this road trip as an opportunity to press for a place in the club’s NRL Round 1 squad just three weeks later.

As the Warriors prepare to mark their 25th season in the premiership, their Christchurch visit sees the club come full circle – the fledgling Auckland Warriors played their first-ever trial match against Canterbury at Addington Showgrounds (later Rugby League Park) in January 1995.

A star-studded Warriors combination was tested by Canterbury in a 26-12 win in front of 12,811 supporters, with Darryn Avery, Dale Paulsen, Blair Harding and Glenn Coughlan among the locals’ best.

The 2019 Rockcote Canterbury Bulls will be eagerly anticipating their chance to square off against elite professionals, as well as marking rugby league’s move to its new home in style.

To enquire about sponsorship opportunities for the Rockcote Canterbury Bulls’ match against the Warriors ISP team at Ngā Puna Wai on February 23, please contact Vaughan Utteridge on 0275 521 281 or sponsorship@crfl.co.nz.

Get behind the red-and-black jersey as Canterbury Rugby League celebrates the start of an exciting new era at Ngā Puna Wai!

NPW opener
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