Wellington's 2022 Swindale Shield draw will shape up as a real test for the union's 14 Premier clubs when the rugby season kicks off on 2 April with a home and away round.
Reigning Swindale Shield champions Old Boys University will begin their title defence against Petone at Nairnville Park, which doubles as a battle for the Marc Verhoeven Shield. Fans will also be eager to watch a repeat of the 2021 Jubilee Cup final champions Tawa travel to Evans Bay Park to play Marist St Pats.
There are several other fixtures to look forward to as significant inter-club trophies are contested. To name a few, Round six includes Poneke playing Oriental-Rongotai for the Jimmy Grbich Memorial Shield at Kilbirnie Park. Round seven sees the McBain Shield when Petone host Hutt Old Boys Marist at Petone Rec, and the Sammy Saili Memorial Trophy is up for grabs when Northern United and Tawa clash at Porirua Park.
Key features of the Swindale Shield include:
- Same format as 2021
- 2 April home and away start
- The 13-week Swindale Shield allows each club to play each other once in a full round robin to determine seedings for the four-week finals series
- The club that tops the points table at the end of the 13-week competition will be awarded the Swindale Shield
- The season has no mid-week or double-header rounds
- Four-week Jubilee/Hardham Cup finals series (illustration using 2021 results available here)