The Manawatū Turbos are coming to Taihape.
But the July 27 event at Memorial Park comes with a twist – it’s going to be a threesome.
What that means is that it is going to be a game of three halves, involving Wanganui and Bay of Plenty as well as the Turbos.
Each team will finish the day having played 80 minutes of rugby, just not all at the same time or against the same opponent.
The fixture will be a home game for Wanganui, in whose club competition Taihape plays.
The day will be part of the Turbos’ preseason programme, which also features an Evergreens-Hawke’s Bay Saracens game, plus matches against Tasman, also traditional pre-season opponents, in Wellington, and Hawke’s Bay in Napier during July and August before the Mitre 10 competition kicks off on August 18, with the Turbos meeting Waikato in Palmerston North.
The Turbos will go on a four-day camp in Gisborne before playing Hawke’s Bay.
The contracted squad will become fulltime in late July.
Bay of Plenty were runners-up in the cup competition last year and the Turbos finished in fifth place. Wanganui won the lower-tier Heartland competition.
Manawatū Rugby Union chief executive Shannon Paku said it was exciting for the Turbos to bring top-level rugby to Taihape.
“It is a great opportunity to promote rugby in Taihape.
“I think it is fantastic and I hope they really get behind it.
“If it is a success, it is a thing that could possibly carry on in the future.”
Taihape Community Development Trust manager Eva George said she hadn’t yet heard of any plans for the day but was asking around.