In a late start, the Mitre 10 Cup kicks off on Friday, September 11 while the 2020 Farah Palmer Cup kicked off on Saturday September 5.

August 26 marked the 25-year anniversary of professional rugby when the International Rugby Board declared the sport an "open game".

The next year was marked the inaugural season of the Super 12.

The National Provincial Championship or NPC has been in action since 1976.

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All provincial unions were established at different times and even centuries: Auckland 1883; Bay of Plenty 1911; Canterbury 1879; Counties Manukau 1955; Hawke's Bay 1884; Manawatū 1886; North Harbour 1985; Northland 1920; Otago 1881; Southland 1887; Taranaki 1885; Tasman 2006; Waikato 1921; and Wellington 1879.

From 1976-1984 the competition comprised two divisions. From 1985-2005 it was split into three divisions before changing to two divisions: the Air New Zealand Cup and Heartland Championship in 2006.

In 2010 the ITM Cup was introduced and the following year brought in the Premiership and Championship divisions as well as continuing with the Heartland competition.

The Mitre 10 Cup came into play in 2016. So far, Canterbury have won the Premiership twice and finished the season as Ranfurly Shield holders twice.

The season saw one Ranfurly Shield defence against North Otago on August 28.

The last time they faced North Otago for the shield was 2011 where they won 52-8.

This was Canterbury's 194th time playing for the Ranfurly Shield winning 153 of them. Former All Black Luke Romano captained Canterbury for the first time while 14 players made their debuts for the province (these are not accounted for in the below statistics).

The final score was 71-7 to Canterbury.

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Canterbury side: 1. Finlay Brewis 2. Brodie McAlister 3. Tamaiti Williams 4. Luke Romano 5. Sam Darry 6. Liam Allen 7. Billy Harmon 8. Cullen Grace 9. Ereatara Enari 10. Brett Cameron 11. Manasa Mataele 12. Dallas McLeod 13. Isaiah Punivai 14. Chay Fihaki 15. Andrew Knewstubb
Reserves: 16. Shilo Klein 17. Scott Mellow 18. Fletcher Newell 19. Zach Gallagher 20. Bill Fukofuka 21. Luke Donaldson 22. Rameka Poihipi 23. Cameron Bailey

North Otago side: 1. Ralph Darling 2. Sam Sturgess 3. Kelepi Funaki 4. Charles Elton 5. Josh Clark 6. Cameron Rowland 7. Marcus Balchin 8. Junior Fakatoufifita 9. Robbie Smith 10. Michael Williams 11. Mathew Vocea 12. Samuel Tatupu 13. Lemi Masoe 14. Sione Kavatoe 15. Josh Phipps
Reserves: 16. Jake Greenslade 17. Robert Richardson 18. Josh Hayward 19. William Kirkwood 20. Jack Kelly 21. Ben McCarthy 22. Taina Tamou 23. Antonio Misiloi

All statistics are correct previous to the start of the 2020 Farah Palmer Cup and previous to the Canterbury v North Otago Ranfurly Shield challenge.
*DENOTES INTERNATIONALLY CAPPED (ALL SQUAD SECTIONS)
2020 MITRE 10 CUP SQUADS

19 Premiership winner: Tasman Mako
2019 Championship winner: Bay of Plenty Steamers
Ranfurly Shield holder: Canterbury

CAPS (IN BRACKETS) ARE FOR CURRENT PROVINCE, **DENOTES 2020 ALL BLACK DÉBUTANT
PREMIERSHIP DIVISION

CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION

The All Blacks squad for the 2020 Investec Rugby Championship was named on Sunday, September 6.

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Seven potential debutants were named in the team.

Most of the All Black squad will be available for week one of the Mitre 10 Cup.

Tasman's Quentin Strange and Wellington's Dane Coles are still recovering from injuries while Joe Moody, Sam Cane, Beauden Barrett and Braydon Ennor all await injury assessment.

2020 FARAH PALMER CUP SQUADS

Emma Jensen, 42, made her provincial début 18 years ago and is still going strong in 2020. Photo / Duncan Brown
Emma Jensen, 42, made her provincial début 18 years ago and is still going strong in 2020. Photo / Duncan Brown

Click here for Farah Palmer Cup fixtures and results.

2019 Farah Palmer Cup Premiership winner: Canterbury
2019 Farah Palmer Cup Championship winner: Otago Spirit

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