National Competition

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National Competition
Current season or competition::
2016 New Zealand rugby league season
Sport Rugby league
Inaugural season 2010
Replaced by Bartercard Premiership
Number of teams 4
Country New Zealand
Holders Akarana Falcons (2016)
Most titles Akarana Falcons (5 titles)
Website [1]

The National Competition (previously called the National Zonal Competition) is the top level rugby league competition run by the New Zealand Rugby League. In 2010 the competition replaced the Bartercard Premiership following a Sparc funded review and restructure of the New Zealand Rugby League. Since 2016 the competition has consisted of a four team National Championship and a four team National Premiership with a promotion and relegation between the two divisions.

Trophies and awards[edit]

Senior teams compete for the Albert Baskerville Trophy which is named after Albert Baskerville, the organiser of the 1907-1908 All Golds tour. Under-17s compete for the Mark Graham Cup which named after Mark Graham, the New Zealand Rugby League player of the century. Under-15s compete for the Nathan Cayless Cup which is named after Nathan Cayless, the only captain to win the World Cup for New Zealand.


The competition was reformatted for the 2016 season, with Akarana, Counties Manukau, Canterbury and Wellington competing in a National Championship. The Upper Central and Mid-Central zones reverted to district teams with these teams, alongside Northland and the South Island districts, competing in four regional championships. The four regional winners then compete in a National Premiership competition, which will play a promotion-relegation match against the last placed National Championship side.[2]

Championship teams[edit]

Team Current Coach Home Grounds
Akarana Falcons Steve Buckingham Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Canterbury Bulls
South Island Scorpions
Andrew Auimatagi[3] Denton Park, Christchurch
Trafalgar Park, Nelson
Wingham Park, Greymouth
Counties Manukau Stingrays Rod Ratu Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Wellington Orcas Mike Kuiti Jerry Collins Stadium, Porirua

Waikato defeated Wellington in the promotion/relegation match, and will replace them in the 2017 championship.

Season winners[edit]

Year Albert Baskerville Trophy Score Runner up Minor Premiers Wooden Spoon Score Premiership winner Mark Graham Cup Nathan Cayless Cup
2010 Auckland 14 6 Counties Manukau Auckland Northern Swords N/A Counties Manukau Counties Manukau
2011 Auckland Pride 44 34 South Island Auckland Pride Northern Swords Auckland Pride Auckland Pride
2012 Akarana Falcons 38 20 Counties Manukau Counties Manukau Northern Swords Akarana Falcons Counties Manukau
2013 Akarana Falcons 22 12 Counties Manukau Counties Manukau Central Vipers Counties Manukau Akarana Falcons
2014 Canterbury Bulls 40 8 Waicoa Bay Stallions Counties Manukau* Northern Swords Akarana Falcons Akarana Falcons
2015 Counties Manukau[4] 41 10 Canterbury Bulls Counties Manukau Northern Swords Akarana Falcons Akarana Falcons
2016 Akarana Falcons[5] 32 12 Counties Manukau Counties Manukau Wellington Orcas 14 38 Waikato Akarana Falcons Counties Manukau

*In 2014 Counties Manukau were disqualified from the final for fielding an ineligible player.


  1. ^ NZRL Premiership
  2. ^ "NZRL re-launch national competition for 2016". APRL. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Auimatagi new Canterbury Bulls coach". 4 March 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Stingrays romp home in premiership final, 17 October 2015
  5. ^ "Falcons fly high for premiership crown".