The best of the best will go head to head in the Steinlager North v South game this August. With eligibility being determined by the first province they played for, this game will see some of New Zealand's best rugby talent compete against their teammates for a spot in the first All Blacks squad for 2020.
Having been played on an almost annual basis over the course of 80 matches between 1897 and 1986, the inter-island match is set to be staged for just the third time since 1995. In the absence of a regular playing schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic, its return has created a buzz among rugby fans across the country.
Many see great potential in this contest to install a nationwide rivalry in Kiwi footy that has rarely been seen since the game went professional. The entire concept of New Zealand's best players duking it out on the field so one island can hold bragging rights over the other mirrors the incentive behind Australian rugby league's State of Origin between New South Wales and Queensland.
In the 99 years that the North v South match regularly took place, the selection criteria was simply based on what province players represented. The players on each team are there carrying the weight of expectation from those in each province who helped them reach the pinnacles of their career.
By virtue of representing a province that the players have such a sense of belonging to, fans within the region who have grown up or lived in the same or nearby areas to those players become attached to the side as they too feel represented. When both sets of teams are spurred on that way, you can expect there to be vitriol when they meet, which makes for top-tier sporting entertainment.
The first game was played on 30 June 1897 at Wellington's Athletic Park, and the last annual match was played in 1995, with a one-off game at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium in 2012 which was won by the South 34-24. Since 1904 the North Island traditionally played in black jerseys and black shorts, while the South Island played in white jerseys with white shorts.
Please see below hospitality packages on offer for this great rugby sporting event and we look forward to hosting you.
For more information or to discuss the available options please contact:
Bryan Donnelly M: 021 848411 E: BryanD@allblackshospitality.co.nz
Michael Owens M: 021 689142 E: MikeO@allblackshospitality.co.nz