Thursday, April 19 2012 @ 10:03 pm ACST
Contributed by: Rod Shaw
For the first time since its inception, four provinces attended the tournament held in Christchurch during March. A fantastic development was Otago fielding its first ever regional team. 2009 winners Auckland, 2010 winners Canterbury and Wellington were the other provinces present. Importantly the province of Northland provided some players to the Auckland team as Otago did during their development phase to Wellington.
2011 winners, New Zealand Under 16's were in attendance but are no longer eligible to compete for the NPC Championship. They instead played two representative matches against a South Island combination (Otago and Canterbury) on Saturday and a North Island combination (Auckland and Wellington ) on the Sunday.
New Zealand Hawks Under 16 players also represented their respective provinces in normal NPC matches. Their involvement was monitored on a restricted basis to ensure adequate rest time for the individuals concerned.