The 2017 Mitre 10 Cup will kick off with rematches of last year's premiership and championship finals - Canterbury v Tasman, North Harbour v Otago.

Harbour edged the southerners in the championship game to earn promotion into this season's premiership, but will have to defend that result in their home opener at QBE Stadium on Thursday, August 17.

Tasman will host the premiership grudge match against the red-and-blacks the following evening.

The 2017 Mitre 10 Cup plays across nine weeks, with every team playing one Wednesday night fixture in a double-up round where they play twice that week.


The semifinals will be played on October 20-21, with the championship final to be played on Friday, October 27, and the premiership on Saturday, October 28.

The Heartland Championship begins on August 26, with last year's Meads Cup champions Wanganui taking on Wairarapa Bush and Lochore Cup winners North Otago up against Horowhenua Kapiti.

New Zealand Rugby provincial union rugby head Steve Lancaster said the Mitre 10 Cup and Heartland Championship are home to great provincial rivalries and rugby heritage.

"Provincial rugby games were first played in New Zealand more than 140 years ago, and those historic rivalries are very much alive today," said Lancaster.

"Be it the old geographic rivalry of Otago and Southland or the more modern Battle of the Bridge between Auckland and North Harbour, these provincial rugby competitions have helped shaped our local identities and provide an opportunity for New Zealanders to show their parochialism, and back their local teams with pride.

"More than 30 Mitre 10 Cup players were selected for Super Rugby teams for the first time this year, highlighting the great breeding ground the provincial competition continues to be and the important role it plays in developing the next generation of All Blacks.

"This season sees some great Ranfurly Shield challenges lined up, with Canterbury seeking to defend the log of wood in pre-season games against Wanganui and Mid Canterbury, before taking on Otago, Southland, Counties Manukau, Waikato and Taranaki."

Mitre 10 Cup
Week One
Thursday, August 17 - North Harbour v Otago, 7.35pm

Friday, August 18 - Tasman v Canterbury, 7.35pm
Saturday, August 19 - Hawke's Bay v Southland, 2.35pm
Saturday, August 19 - Taranaki v Waikato, 5.05pm
Saturday, August 19 - Counties Manukau v Auckland, 7.35pm
Sunday, August 20 - Northland v Bay of Plenty, 2.35pm
Sunday, August 20 - Manawatu v Wellington, 4.35pm

Week Two
Thursday, August 24 - Southland v North Harbour, 7.35pm
Friday, August 25 - Bay of Plenty v Hawke's Bay, 5.45pm
Friday, August 25 - Waikato v Counties Manukau, 7.45pm
Saturday, August 26 - Wellington v Taranaki, 2.35pm
Saturday, August 26 - Auckland v Northland, 4.35pm
Sunday, August 27 - Manawatu v Tasman, 2.35pm
Sunday, August 27 - Canterbury v Otago (Ranfurly Shield), 4.35pm

Week Three
Wednesday, August 30 - Auckland v Waikato, 7.35pm
Thursday, August 31 - Bay of Plenty v Wellington, 7.35pm
Friday, September 1 - Hawke's Bay v Canterbury, 7.35pm
Saturday, September 2 - Otago v Manawatu, 2.35pm
Saturday, September 2 - Southland v Northland, 5.05pm
Saturday, September 2 - Taranaki v Counties Manukau, 7.35pm
Sunday, September 3 - Waikato v Tasman, 7.35pm
Sunday, September 3 - North Harbour v Auckland, 4.35pm

Week Four
Wednesday, September 6 - Wellington v Hawke's Bay, 7.35pm
Thursday, September 7 - Counties Manukau v North Harbour, 7.35pm
Friday, September 8 - Canterbury v Southland (Ranfurly Shield), 5.45pm
Friday, September 8 - Manawatu v Bay of Plenty, 7.45pm
Saturday, September 9 - Auckland v Taranaki, 2.35pm
Saturday, September 9 - Northland v Waikato, 4.35pm
Sunday, September 10 - Tasman v Wellington, 2.35pm
Sunday, September 10 - Hawke's Bay v Otago, 4.35pm

Week Five
Wednesday, September 13 - Canterbury v Counties Manukau (Ranfurly Shield), 7.35pm
Thursday, September 14 - Northland v North Harbour, 7.35pm
Friday, September 15 - Southland v Auckland, 5.45pm
Friday, September 15 - Taranaki v Bay of Plenty, 7.45pm
Saturday, September 16 - Waikato v Manawatu, 2.35pm
Saturday, September 16 - Otago v Tasman, 4.35pm
Sunday, September 17 - Counties Manukau v Hawke's Bay, 2.35pm
Sunday, September 17 - Wellington v Canterbury, 4.35pm

Week Six
Wednesday, September 20 - Bay of Plenty v Southland, 7.35pm
Thursday, September 21 - Otago v Auckland, 7.35pm
Friday, September 22 - Manawatu v Northland, 7.35pm
Saturday, September 23 - North Harbour v Canterbury, 2.35pm
Saturday, September 23 - Waikato v Wellington, 5.05pm
Saturday, September 23 - Hawke's Bay v Taranaki, 7.35pm
Sunday, September 24 - Bay of Plenty v Counties Manukau, 2.35pm
Sunday, September 24 - Tasman v Southland, 4.35pm

Week Seven
Wednesday, September 27 - Northland v Otago, 7.35pm
Thursday, September 28 - Taranaki v Tasman, 7.35pm
Friday, September 29 - North Harbour v Hawke's Bay, 7.35pm
Saturday, September 30 - Southland v Manawatu, 2.35pm
Saturday, September 30 - Auckland v Bay of Plenty, 5.05pm
Saturday, September 30 - Canterbury v Waikato (Ranfurly Shield), 7.35pm
Sunday, October 1 - Wellington v Otago, 2.35pm
Sunday, October 1 - Counties Manukau v Northland, 4.35pm

Week Eight
Wednesday, October 4 - Tasman v North Harbour, 7.35pm
Thursday, October 5 - Manawatu v Counties Manukau, 7.35pm
Friday, October 6 - Canterbury v Taranaki (Ranfurly Shield), 7.35pm
Saturday, October 7 - Otago v Bay of Plenty, 2.35pm
Saturday, October 7 - Northland v Hawke's Bay, 5.05pm
Saturday, October 7 - Southland v Wellington, 7.35pm
Sunday, October 8 - Tasman v Auckland, 2.35pm
Sunday, October 8 - Waikato v North Harbour, 4.35pm

Week Nine
Wednesday, October 11 - Taranaki v Manawatu, 7.35pm
Thursday, October 12 - Wellington v Northland, 7.35pm
Friday, October 13 - Auckland v Canterbury, 7.35pm
Saturday, October 14 - Bay of Plenty v Waikato, 2.35pm
Saturday, October 14 - Otago v Southland, 5.05pm
Saturday, October 14 - Counties Manukau v Tasman, 7.35pm
Sunday, October 15 - North Harbour v Taranaki, 2.35pm
Sunday, October 15 - Hawke's Bay v Manawatu, 4.35pm

Friday, October 20 - Semifinal 1, 7.35pm
Saturday, October 21 - Semifinal 2, 2.35pm
Saturday, October 21 - Semifinal 3, 5.05pm
Saturday, October 21 - Semifinal 4, 7.35pm

Friday, October 27 - Championship Final, 7.35pm
Saturday, October 28 - Premiership Final, 7.35pm

Heartland Championship
Week One
August 26 - Buller v South Canterbury
August 26 - East Coast v Thames Valley
August 26 - Horowhenua Kapiti v North Otago
August 26 - King Country v West Coast
August 26 - Mid Canterbury v Poverty Bay
August 26 - Wanganui v Wairarapa Bush

Week Two
September 2 - North Otago v Mid Canterbury
September 2 - Poverty Bay v Horowhenua Kapiti
September 2 - South Canterbury v King Country
September 2 - Thames Valley v Wanganui
September 2 - Wairarapa Bush v East Coast
September 2 - West Coast v Buller

Week Three
September 9 - Buller v North Otago
September 9 - East Coast v West Coast
September 9 - Horowhenua Kapiti v Thames Valley
September 9 - King Country v Wairarapa Bush
September 9 - Mid Canterbury v South Canterbury
September 9 - Wanganui v Poverty Bay

Week Four
September 16 - North Otago v King Country
September 16 - Poverty Bay v East Coast
September 16 - South Canterbury v Wanganui
September16 - Thames Valley v Buller
September16 - Wairarapa Bush v Mid Canterbury
September16 - West Coast v Horowhenua Kapiti

Week Five
September 23 - Buller v Wairarapa Bush
September 23 - Horowhenua Kapiti v East Coast
September 23 - King Country v Thames Valley
September 23 - Mid Canterbury v Wanganui
September 23 - Poverty Bay v West Coast
September 23 - South Canterbury v North Otago

Week Six
September 30 - East Coast v Buller
September 30 - North Otago v Poverty Bay
September 30 - Thames Valley v Mid Canterbury
September 30 - Wairarapa Bush v Horowhenua Kapiti
September 30 - Wanganui v King Country
September 30 - West Coast v South Canterbury

Week Seven
October 7 - Horowhenua Kapiti v Wanganui
October 7 - Mid Canterbury v Buller
October 7 - North Otago v East Coast
October 7 - Poverty Bay v King Country
October 7 - South Canterbury v Wairarapa Bush
October 7 - West Coast v Thames Valley

Week Eight
October 14 - Buller v Horowhenua Kapiti
October 14 - East Coast v South Canterbury
October 14 - King Country v Mid Canterbury
October 14 - Thames Valley v Poverty Bay
October 14 - Wairarapa Bush v West Coast
October 14 - Wanganui v North Otago

Week Nine
Lochore Cup Semifinals
October 21 - Fifth v Eighth, 2.30pm
October 21 - Sixth v Seventh, 2.30pm
Meads Cup Semifinals
October 21 - First v Fourth, 2.30pm
October 21 - Second v Third, 2.30pm

Week 10
October 28 - Lochore Cup Final
October 28 - Meads Cup Final