Crusaders and Highlanders to play pre-season game in Wanaka
- Published: 08 October 2019
Hidden away in Highlanders territory, the scenic town of Wanaka will host the fifth annual Farmlands Cup game on 24th January 2020, kicking off at 6.00pm.
Southern powerhouses the Crusaders and Pulse Energy Highlanders will be fronting up for an epic battle once again with the current Farmlands Cup holders, the Crusaders looking to launch their pre- season after a third straight Super Rugby Championship win.
The Pulse Energy Highlanders will have the home field advantage and will be looking to steal back the merino horned silverware from a seemingly unstoppable Crusaders team.
“The Farmlands Cup is always really well supported in the regions and the 2020 edition in Wanaka will be no exception,” Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge says.
“We’re looking forward to meeting the Highlanders in Wanaka as the team prepares for their 2020 campaign and hope a number of our Crusaders fans will turn out to support the side.”
Known for its idyllic holiday homes, stunning views and a tree in the middle of a lake, Wanaka is one of the more picturesque locations to hold a Farmlands Cup match.
CEO of the Pulse Energy Highlanders, Roger Clark, is looking forward to the first opportunity for the Upper Clutha Rugby Club to host a Super Rugby game.
“We are expecting a crowd of around 7,000 which will hopefully make it a big day for Central Otago and our club,” Mr Clark says.
The Farmlands Cup was initiated in 2016, dedicated to bringing top-class footy back to grassroots locations with previous matches being held twice in Waimumu (Southland), Darfield and Southbridge.
After tasting defeat 43-38 at Southbridge earlier this year, the Highlanders will relish the chance to bring the Farmlands Cup back to the Southern regions and are likely to put in a star-studded line up for the last game of the pre-season calendar.
Highlanders head coach, Aaron Mauger, says the event is a great experience for players and supporters alike.
“The setting is always wonderful whether its Waimumu, Darfield or Southbridge and the opportunity to go to Wanaka in January next year is exciting,” Mr Mauger says.
“A Highlanders versus Crusaders game at that time of the year in heartland South Island, it doesn’t get any better than that”.
A cup worth bragging over isn’t all the winning team will take home, with Farmlands Co-operative pledging $5,000 to a local charity close to the Crusaders’ and Highlanders’ hearts. The Crusaders’ Farmlands Cup victory was also a win for the St John Selwyn Central, the Super Rugby champions’ nominated charity.
With over $20,000 pledged in previous years, Farmlands CEO Peter Reidie embraces the opportunity to give back to a well-deserving community charity.
“The Farmlands Cup aligns with our purpose to re-invent the Farmlands Co-operative Spirit, putting our shareholders’ future success at the centre of everything we do,” Mr Reidie says.
“Since the kick off of the first Farmlands Cup game, we have brought top level rugby back to more than 20,000 rural people. Giving back to these grassroots communities remains as important as the on-field action.”
Farmlands shareholders will be the first to the ruck for tickets, with exclusive access going live on the 1st October 2019. For more information see www.farmlands.co.nz/farmlandscup. Public access will go live early 2020