They will step out on to Wairarapa Bush’s new state-of-the-art artificial rugby turf, with the match being the first official Heartland Championship fixture to take place on the turf, as well as being held at night under lights.
The turf is now under construction and will be ready in time for this year’s Heartland Championship and North Otago Rugby Union chief executive Colin Jackson said the historic occasion was something the side was happy to be part of.
“We are incredibly honoured to be part of this history, and it will be a fantastic chance to experience playing on the artificial turf.”
Jackson said it was an exciting match to be involved with.
“We’re privileged to be involved with it and playing under lights is something the side will look forward to as well,” he said.
The turf is used in England, Japan, and Auckland.
Jackson said it would be a different experience.
“We see it as an awesome opportunity that we were invited and know that playing rugby on it will be a lot different to what the guys are used to.”
Meanwhile, Jackson said he was happy with the standard of rugby after the opening round of the Citizen’s Shield.
It resulted in wins to Athies, Old Boys and Kurow, with only the Old Boys-Valley score a bit of a blowout.
Jackson said the amount of talent around is pleasing.
“We’re pleased with the talent we have running around. It was a fantastic opening weekend for rugby; the standard was really good and we look forward to the North Otago season later in the year.”
Jackson said he was pleased with the efforts fromall the sides.
“They went well. The Old Boys game was close throughout, although the score doesn’t suggest that; the Athies Excelsior game was a good match, while we were excited with how Maheno went against Kurow.”
He said the sides had still to receive their imports, with many of them due to arrive by the start of the second round.
“They will all be here by the start of round two. The first of them arrive this week, and we also have two females coming over to play for the women’s team, which is exciting.”
By Brayden Lindsay
PHOTO: FILE – Old Boys’ number eight Samisoni Tongotongo prepares to dot the ball down against Valley. Tongotonga was part of the Old Golds last season.