The 2016 Bethlehem Coachlines Secondary Schools rugby season kicks off tomorrow with a full round of games across the Bay of Plenty.

This season marks the introduction of a development grade for under-14 and under-15 boys allowing the opportunity for secondary schools to develop their less experienced players in preparation for the official start of the competition on June 11.

Over the next five weeks teams will be competing in a grading round competition, as they bid to earn the right to play in the premier grade for their respective age groups.

The First XV teams battle for the Te Kani Shield and Dick Littlejohn Trophy in division one which will be up for contention this weekend. A promotion relegation system has been introduced with teams in the second, third and First XV divisions vying for their division title.

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With more than 70 teams spread across the Bay it should be an exciting first round. The premier First XV division will kick off this weekend with Otumoetai College taking on Te Whare Kura o Mauoa at home while defending champions Western Heights High School will host Whakatane High School. Aquinas College travel to play Rotorua Boys' High School Second XV and Opotiki defend the Te Kani Shield on the road against Bethlehem College.