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Luisetti Seeds Country Rugby - North Canterbury

22 Feb 2013

Willie KerrNorth Canterbury Rugby will look to retain some of its former glory this season. This essentially means two things: regaining the Luisetti Seeds Combined Country title and reclaiming its much-loved Southbridge Shield.

There will again be six North Canterbury clubs entered in the Luisetti Seeds Combined Country competition. It is difficult to predict which sides will lead North Canterbury’s charge: it can not longer be predicted that it will be Glenmark or Oxford.

North Canterbury PRO, and former sub-union president, Tim Fulton says there are a number of exciting initiatives taking place in the sub-union this season.

“Glenmark will enter a team in the Metro Colts competition, which is designed to keep players who have a Country identification involved with a Country club.”

It also appears likely that Ohoka will enter an under-20 team in the Metro competition. The Hurunui club meanwhile will be competing in the Country Colts competition. “It’s exciting that these clubs will have teams entered in these competitions,” Tim says. “It shows that the sub-union is placing emphasis on the Colts grades.”

Another issue in North Canterbury up for review are the age-group gaps. It is of course the case that sometimes the current gaps between the under-16 and under-11 grades work and sometimes they don’t. The key, Tim says, is making sure they are consistent with trends.

Off the field North Canterbury has a new president in Hawarden farmer Graeme Inch. Graeme is one of those great men of Canterbury rugby. He lives on a 3000 acre farm and travels 5,500 kilometres for rugby each season.

Graeme is well-qualified for the presidency: he has been on the sub-union’s board for 10 years, he is an active referee and he says that he would love nothing more than seeing North Canterbury beat Ellesmere.

“On the playing side of things that and seeing North Canterbury clubs do well in the Luisetti Seeds Combined Country competition are the two major goals for us.”

Off the field Graeme says that he is working hard with the Canterbury Rugby Union to put in place local coaching the coaches programmes that has been assisted by funding from the earthquake fund.

“Overall though things are going really well,” Graeme says. “The JAB grades are doing well and the clubs seem generally happy with the administrative side of things. We are all really looking forward to the season ahead.”

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