The 2017 AFL New Zealand National Provincial Championships will be held at QBE Stadium in Auckland on the 9th and 10th of December.
It is the first time that the NPC will be held at QBE Stadium in Albany, a venue which has hosted the past two AFL New Zealand Premiership seasons. Each team will play one game on Saturday the 9th, and two games on Sunday the 10th.
Auckland are current holders of the NPC trophy after going through the 2016 champs undefeated. The Buccaneers will have home ground advantage and will look to a boast a strong, talented squad with a large contingent of New Zealand representatives who participated in the 2017 International Cup .
Wellington came close to winning in 2016 and have put plans in place to go one step further this time around. With key players James Kusel, Peter Halstead, Misilifi Faimalo and Craig Morgan (who all represented NZ at the 2017 International Cup) in the Tigers squad, look for them to cause an upset.
Canterbury have won four of the past six tournaments including a hat-trick of wins from 2010 to 2012. The Cobra’s finished third in Wellington last December and new head coach Izaak Williams has put good measures in place to ensure that they will be a force once again in 2017.
Otago will also be competing, and whilst they are yet to register an NPC win, their strength and depth is growing. Josh Mackie was the youngest squad member in the New Zealand 2017 International Cup squad and will provide the Otago Riot with both pace and stamina. Josh will be playing in the midfield for Otago alongside AFLNZ Premiership Northern Suns Best and Fairest Will Dickinson and 2 metre tall Tom Bekkers in the ruck who is hopeful of overcoming a knee injury in time for the Championship.
Saturday December 9th 2017
1.30pm GAME 1 Wellington vs Auckland
3.00pm GAME 2 Canterbury vs Otago
Sunday December 11th 2017
9.30am GAME 3 Wellington vs Otago
11.00am GAME 4 Canterbury vs Auckland
1.30pm GAME 5 Auckland vs Otago
3.00pm GAME 6 Canterbury vs Wellington
5.00pm Tournament Concludes