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Under 85kg National Club Cup

The Under 85kg National Club Cup is a new and exciting knockout competition for men's weight-restricted rugby.

The comp is open to all rugby clubs in the country, regardless of whether clubs and regions have 85s teams and grades. 

Clubs will compete within their local regions in the early rounds of the Cup, before moving through to a national draw from the quarterfinals onwards.

A national final is scheduled to be played in mid-August at a venue of significance.


U85kg team registrations are open from 20 February - 31 March 2020.

By the 31st March clubs/teams will be required to enter the competition and they have until 9 April 2020 to confirm their team list (min. 18 players and max. 30 players) and pay the registration fee.

To register your club click here

Competition Draw

The competition draw for Rounds One and Two will be announced on 2 April 2020. The competition kicks off 2 May 2020. 

Competition Regulations

To read and download a copy of the U85kg National Club Cup competition regulations click here.


For more information please refer to the FAQs sections below, or email Participation@NZRugby.co.nz

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is NZR introducing this competition?

Rugby has long prided itself on being a game for everyone. Weight-restricted rugby provides an opportunity for a segment of the playing population to have their own playing experience within a balanced and meaningful competition. Growing the U85kg grades across NZ is seen as a crucial element to providing a pathway for secondary school players into clubs and improving participation at adult level.

Who can enter the competition?

Any affiliated club can enter the competition, irrespective of whether it plays in a U85kg Provincial Union competition or not. Clubs may enter teams into the competition from existing U85kg grades, a mix of weight eligible players drawn from across the club’s teams, or a completely independent team that registers with the club and solely enters the competition.

Can clubs enter multiple teams?

Yes – clubs may enter multiple teams providing that each team has a minimum of 18 weight-eligible players at time of entry confirmation by 31 March 2020.

Who is eligible to play in the competition?

Any male player that meets the weight eligibility on match day can play in the competition. Players aged 16 on 1 January 2020 may play in the competition subject to meeting the requirements of NZR Participation Policy #8 Age to Play Senior Rugby. To view the policy click here.

Can players switch between teams within a club?

No – players must give their consent to be nominated for a team and will be ‘cup tied’ once they have played a match. Players may only switch teams with a club or for another club with the permission of NZR and only in exceptional circumstances.

What is the minimum number of players required to enter the competition?

Teams must nominate a minimum of 18 consented player by 9 April 2020 and may nominate up to a total of 30 players at any point throughout the competition. This is to allow for unavailability of players for any reason.

What is the format of the competition?

The competition will be played in a knock out format where each match must determine a winner to proceed to the next round. Defeated teams are no longer eligible to participate in the tournament from that point.

Where will the Final be?

The final is planned to be held in a venue of significance that is befitting the competition as a national title.

What does the entry fee go towards?

The entry fee from each team will go towards offsetting competition costs such as travel, referees, and event management expenses for the final.

Will Game On apply in this competition?

No – the Club Cup is being designated as a Premier competition and will therefore not be subject to the Game On format.

Who pays for travel in the competition?

It is a requirement of entry into the competition that clubs underwrite any travel associated with participating up to and including the Semi Finals. NZR is looking to secure additional funding to support competition costs and will be able to provide clarity on likely travel support by 30 March 2020.

Why is Sir Graham Henry involved?

Sir Graham has been a long-time supporter of the U85kg grade and has enthusiastically accepted the opportunity to act as this season’s competition ambassador.