Hanmer Springs to host ‘Battle of the Mainland’ pre-season match between Canterbury and Tasman

The Canterbury Rugby Football Union (CRFU) has today announced a pre-season fixture on Saturday 27 July, which will see the red and blacks take on Tasman Mako at Hanmer Springs Domain. 

“The CRFU is thrilled to embark on a three-year partnership with Hanmer Springs and to have the opportunity to launch the relationship by taking a pre-season game to the heart of the Canterbury region in 2019,” Canterbury Rugby CEO Tony Smail said. 

“We are also fortunate to be working in partnership with Tasman Rugby Union to deliver this exciting fixture between two proud South Island provincial unions, and we’re grateful for the support of local businesses in Hanmer Springs for helping bring this game to the community.”

Tasman Rugby Union CEO Tony Lewis commented: “The Mako are happy to visit the good people of Hanmer Springs to play this pre-season fixture. It’s not too long a drive so we expect a number of our fans will get along to support the match.

“The Tasman Rugby Union is excited to be playing for the Lionel Hunter Trophy in recognition of the Mainland Foundation support given to Community Rugby in both provincial unions,” Mr Lewis said.  

Graeme Abbot, General Manager at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa, said the organisations involved look forward to welcoming the two provincial unions to the region. 

“As a business community, this is an exciting initiative for Hanmer Springs and a unique opportunity for those in the region to see first class rugby played locally. The setting is picturesque for rugby and we hope that fans from both Canterbury and Tasman will join us for what promises to be a great weekend in Hanmer Springs.” 

Canterbury Head Coach Joe Maddock said the team will embrace the chance to engage the local community during their stay, as well as connect as a squad. 

“Tasman has always provided us with a fantastic challenge, and we expect this pre-season match to be no different, which is great preparation for our upcoming Mitre 10 Cup campaign.  “The squad will take the opportunity to meet locals and tourists to the Hanmer Springs area during their stay, and use this time to really connect as a group before the start of our 2019 season,” Maddock said.  

An open Captain’s Run will be held at the domain on the morning of Friday 26 July, and following that the squad will be at the Village Green running skills & drills sessions and supporting those local partners that have helped bring the game to the community. 


Kick off in Canterbury’s pre-season match against Tasman is 1:30pm, Saturday 27 July, at Hanmer Springs Domain. Tickets are on sale now and general admission is just $10, with a discounted rate of $5 for CRFU and Tasman season members. Season members will recieve an email providing their discount code.


Click here to purchase tickets.

Article added: Friday 14 June 2019


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