Rugby: New name for NPC

The country's premier national provincial rugby competition has a new name with building company ITM replacing Air New Zealand as the major sponsor.

The Air New Zealand Cup will now be known as the ITM Cup with the national airline deciding to focus its energy on supporting the All Blacks.

The NZRU also released the competition draw today, which gets under way with Taranaki v Northland at Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth on July 29.

North Harbour celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and the union kicks off their 2010 season by hosting the traditional battle of the bridge match against neighbours Auckland on August 1.

Otago will get the first opportunity to play Southland for the Ranfurly Shield in Week 2. The ITM Cup final will be played on November 5.

- NZ HERALD STAFF

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