Draw set for 2022 Under 85 National Club Cup

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced the draw for the Under 85 National Club Cup, with 47 teams from across 12 Provincial Unions set to compete in 2022.

The draw, which took place at the All Blacks Experience in Auckland’s Sky City Precinct, was overseen by the NZ Barbarian Rugby Club Representative Pete White, and NZR Participation Manager and U85 Club Cup Competition Manager, Mike Hester.

Hester said the weight-restricted, knock-out competition had seen great growth in size and popularity since its launch in 2020, with 47 teams from around Aotearoa geared to compete this year – up from 19 teams in its inaugural year.

“Even with the disruption of Covid-19, we’ve seen huge growth in the past three years, cementing how important this competition is for the community game.

"It’s a real privilege to be able to put this grade and its participants in the limelight, and to provide an opportunity for these players to play on a national stage.”

Among the 47 teams, 38 are returning to the competition, with nine new teams have entered for the first time, including two from Otago - home of last year’s winners, the Carisbrook Bush Pigs.

In the early rounds, teams will compete in a bracketed draw through Northern, Central and Southern pools to ensure a fair and even competition, and to minimise disruption to the regular club season.

The first fixture drawn for the 2022 competition sees East Coast Bays take on the Hairy Goats from North Shore RFC. Other notable match ups from today’s draw include a repeat of last year’s round one nail-biter between Auckland University’s Squids and the Karaka Razzlers from Counties Manukau.

2021 Finalists, NZ Forestry Tukapa Bantams will play College Rifles Raiders in a round one clash, while 2020 champions Eden Lizards, one of several teams with a first round bye, will face the winner of Auckland University Debt Collectors versus the Onewhero 85s.

Hester said it was great to witness the start of a strong comeback for weight-restricted rugby throughout New Zealand and provide a pathway for players to stay in the game for longer.

“There’s real appetite from Provincial Unions to grow weight-restricted rugby in their regions and provide more ways for people to play. This is one initiative to help support that growth.

“The grade can also play an important part in helping teenagers move from school to club rugby. The more opportunities we give our players to play and develop their skills, the stronger our rugby system will be.”

While the schedule has yet to be finalised, fans can anticipate the first of the cross-regional match-ups kick off in early June, with a final set to be announced for early September.


Onewhero 85s v Auckland University Debt Collectors

Auckland University Legends v Marist Brothers Old Boys MOB

Hamilton Old Boys Wolfpack v Lemington Longhorns

Hamilton Marist Bulldogs v Suburbs Stallions

Ponsonby Hustlers v Patumahoe 85s

Waiheke Island RFC Pirates v College Rifles Bombers

Fraser Tech 85s v Morrinsville Sports Majestic Pukekos

BOP Kahukura v Hawke's Bay Saracens

Pakuranga Black Panthers v Pukekohe Pirates

Auckland University Squids v Karaka Razzlers

Tukapa Bantams v College Rifles Raiders

Teams with bye to round two: Mayfield East Coast Bays 85s; Northshore RFC Hairy Goats; Eden Lizards; Grammar Tech Taniwha; Grammar Tech Old Boys; Ponsonby Pikeys; Melville 85s; Takapuna Bombers. 


Central RFC v Old Boys University Scallywags

Bye to round 2: Eastbourne Gulls; Upper Hutt Rams; Johnsonville Megabyte Terrahawks; Avalon Wolves; Poneke Wanderers; Marist St Pats Reds; Wellington FC Black Dog U85 Axemen.


Wakatipu Waka Dogs v University of Canterbury Black Mambas

Lincoln Short Finned Eels v High School Old Boys Light Bears

Zingari Richmond Dragons v Celtic Fighting Leprechauns

Lincoln University Hunters v Prebbleton Penguins