Under 85kg Club Cup FAQs

Why did NZR introduce this competition?
Rugby has long prided itself on being a game for everyone. Weight-restricted rugby provides an opportunity for a segment of the playing population to have their own playing experience within a balanced and meaningful competition. Growing the U85kg grades across New Zealand is seen as a crucial element to providing a pathway for secondary school players into clubs and improving participation at an adult level.

Who can enter the competition?
Any team playing for an affiliated Rugby Club in New Zealand. This is irrespective of whether they are a current Under 85kg team or a new one.

Who is eligible to play in the competition?
Any male player that meets the weight eligibility on match day can play in the competition. Players aged 16 years may play in the competition subject to meeting the requirements of NZR Participation Policy #8 Age to Play Senior Rugby. To view the policy click here.

This year there is an additional criteria where a player has to have played in at least one of the games prior to the Quarter Finals to be eligible to then play in the Quarter Final onwards.

What are the squad limits?
Teams may nominate a maximum of 28 players. Additional players may be added as replacements subject to PU and NZR approval. Players are considered cup-tied once they have taken the field in a match. 

Are Uncontested Scrums allowed? 
For safety, teams playing in the Preliminary Round and Round 1, may request Uncontested Scrums for the duration of the match due to a lack of qualified front rowers. This is to be communicated to the referee and the opposing team management as soon as practicable.

Is there a entry fee to compete? 
Yes, each team that competes is required to pay an entry fee of $250 (excl GST) (or such other amount specified by NZR). The fee must be paid no later than 5pm, 15 working days prior to the commencement of the Competition. 

Who covers the cost of travel?
Rugby Clubs are required to underwrite travel costs up to and including Round 4. NZR will cover the cost of domestic travel for teams qualifying for the Quarter Finals and beyond.

Where will the final be played?
The final will be played at Sky Stadium in Wellington. This game will be a curtain raiser for the All Blacks v Australia Bledisloe game.

How is the draw structured?

  • The competition will be conducted over six rounds, with a Final on September 28.
  • The draw will be split into Northern, Central and Southern for the practicality of travel.
  • The draw will be bracketed to allow logistical certainty to teams and to reduce travel in some circumstances.
  • Teams forming specifically for the competition will play in Round 1.
  • Some teams may receive a Bye for Round 1 to enable the reduction of teams from 47 to 30 for Round 2.
  • NZR will conduct the draw for Rounds 1 and 2 with some Round 2 games being subject to the outcome of a Round 1 game.
  • Once the draw is confirmed, dates will be worked through with PUs to minimise disruption on local competitions. Two rounds are intended to be played prior to Club Finals.

In 2024 the intended competition windows are as follows: 

  • Round 1 - 
  • Round 2 - 
  • Round 3 - 
  • Quarter Final - 
  • Semi Final - 
  • Final - 28 September in Wellington.