Southbridge Rugby Club, hometown club of BNZ Crusaders and All Blacks legend Dan Carter, will host the 2019 Farmlands Cup game – the first southern derby of the year.

The fourth edition of the Farmlands Cup pits the BNZ Crusaders up against the defending Farmlands Cup holders, the Pulse Energy Highlanders. Since 2016, the Farmlands Cup has returned first-class rugby to its grassroots. Previous editions have been held in Waimumu in Southland (twice) and Darfield.

BNZ Crusaders Chairman Grant Jarrold says it is a thrill to bring the Farmlands Cup game back to Canterbury.

“The BNZ Crusaders appreciate every opportunity to connect with the wider community and the rural community in Canterbury represent an important fan base for us,” Mr Jarrold says. 

“This will be the first time Southbridge have hosted this pre-season fixture but plans are already well underway. We have no doubt the people of Selwyn and the surrounding area will get behind this game and celebrate this Crusaders team out in their community.”

Farmlands Co-operative CEO Peter Reidie says the Farmlands Cup has captured the imagination of South Island rugby fans. 

“Rugby isn’t only about the big stadiums – it is about the small rugby grounds and parks around New Zealand that breed the next generation of Super Rugby players,” Mr Reidie says.

“We have had three sell-outs in a row, giving 19,400 people the chance to see high quality rugby. We are confident the Southbridge event will be another sell-out. Farmlands is proud to support something that gives back to our rural communities and provides people with an opportunity to see their rugby heroes in person.”

Southbridge, the community 45km from Christchurch, holds a special place in the hearts of Crusaders fans. Southbridge Rugby President, Hamish Gilbert says the club is excited to play host to the Farmlands Cup.

“It is fantastic to see the Crusaders bringing their pre-season game out into the rural community, especially to a part of Canterbury that has a very long and proud history of rugby,” Mr Gilbert says.

“We look forward to hosting this prestigious event and being able to showcase our fabulous facilities to the wider rugby community.”

The 2018 Farmlands Cup in February produced an exciting, high scoring game, with the Highlanders beating the Crusaders 42-26 in Waimumu. Farmlands shareholders will have an opportunity to receive the first tickets to the 2019 game through in-store promotions during October, before an exclusive pre-sale starting 1st November. Tickets will go on public sale in December.