31 Jul 2008

National domestic rugby season begins in atrocious conditions

1:38 pm on 31 July 2008

The provincial rugby championship starts tonight for what looks as if it'll be the final season in the current format, as the NZRU seeks to cut costs by reducing the number of teams.

Two sides with uncertain future are hosting the opening games - Northland plays Waikato in Whangarei and Tasman takes on Bay of Plenty in Blenheim.

Northland's coach Mark Anscombe says pre-season preparations been a lot better than the weather lately, so his pacy wings Rene Ranger and Fetu Vainikolo aren't likely to see much ball as the ground will be pretty soft.

Anscombe says that's unfortunate for them but like all players they have to adapt to the conditions - which aren't looking to get a lot better anytime soon.