The Hurricanes and Blues will square off in a pre-season Super Rugby match in a Mangatainoka paddock.

The Battle at the Brewery will see the welcome return of the two popular Super Rugby franchises to the small township – population 1560 - after games were held between the two rival teams there between 2010 and 2013.

For one of the town's most familiar faces, the return of the epic clash is especially meaningful.

Read more rural events stories here.


Nick Rogers, who runs the visitor experience at Tui Brewery, originally came up with the idea to turn a local paddock into a rugby pitch and remembers how everyone thought he was mad.

"I had this idea to bring the Hurricanes to Mangatainoka back in 2010. At the time it raised a few eyebrows and people had a wee chuckle but pretty quickly they realised I was serious. Within weeks we had a team of terrific volunteers that helped make that first game possible," Rogers said.

"Despite the rain and mud, it delivered an incredible game of rugby with the late Sir Colin Meads, Sir Brian Lochore and the great commentator Keith Quinn amongst the 8000-strong crowd. It reinforced how important it is to have top-level rugby players connect with their rural communities and inspire our youngsters.

"After games in Masterton and Eketahuna in 2014 and 2015, and a rest the last two years, people are itching for the game to come back to Mangatainoka. I for one am so, so excited that Tui is bringing this epic clash back to Mangatainoka in 2019."

Hurricanes captain Dane Coles said the team was really keen to head back to the farm for the February game. "I know the whole squad are looking forward to heading back to Mangatainoka, especially the boys who have not experienced playing there before."

"It really is a unique day and the team gets really well looked after by all the locals."

Tickets for the game go on sale today. It will be played back at the Mangatainoka RFC on Kerry Fergus' farm and will see the community rally together to host a predicted 5000 visitors.

There will be prizes up for grabs for fans who go above and beyond with their fancy dress.


All tickets are available to purchase from or at Tui Brewery in Mangatainoka.

For bus or train ticket deals – please visit or

For all match day information visit