|The confirmed 2014 draw for the Pink Batts Heartland Championship has been released by New Zealand Rugby today.
King Country and Wairarapa Bush get the season underway at Taupo’s Owen Delaney Park in Week 1 on 23 August 2014.
The first round also sees Lochore Cup Finalists Buller hosting last year’s Meads Cup runners up, North Otago; Horowhenua Kapiti host Thames Valley at Levin’s Community Trust Domain; and first-time Meads Cup champions Mid Canterbury host West Coast. Poverty Bay and East Coast kick off their 2014 campaigns with a local derby fixture at Gisborne’s Rugby Park, and Lochore Cup champions South Canterbury host Wanganui at Timaru’s Alpine Energy Stadium.
The 8-week competition will see the Lochore Cup and Meads Cup semifinals played on 18 October, with the Meads Cup Final to be played on Saturday 25 October, and the Lochore Cup Final on Sunday 26 October.
Thames Valley will see some pre-season action with a Ranfurly Shield challenge against Counties Manukau on 2 July. Mid Canterbury are scheduled to get the next challenge against the Counties Manukau Steelers on 9 July.
Both matches will be played at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe.
Click on the link to view the 2014 Pink Batts Heartland Championship draw.