National Competition

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.

National Competition
Current season or competition:
2020 New Zealand rugby league season
SportRugby league
Inaugural season2010
Replaced byBartercard Premiership
Number of teams4
CountryNew Zealand
HoldersAkarana Falcons (2016)
Most titlesAkarana Falcons (5 titles)

Trophies and awards

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 is 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 play a promotion-relegation match against the last placed national championship side.[1]

Championship teams

Team Current Coach Home Grounds
Akarana Falcons Steve Buckingham Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Canterbury Bulls
South Island Scorpions
Andrew Auimatagi[2] 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

Year Albert Baskerville Trophy Score Runner up Minor Premiers Wooden Spoon Score Premiership winner Mark Graham Cup (U-17) Nathan Cayless Cup (U-15)
2010Auckland146Counties ManukauAucklandNorthern SwordsN/ACounties ManukauCounties Manukau
2011Auckland Pride4434South IslandAuckland PrideNorthern SwordsAuckland PrideAuckland Pride
2012Akarana Falcons3820Counties ManukauCounties ManukauNorthern SwordsAkarana FalconsCounties Manukau
2013Akarana Falcons2212Counties ManukauCounties ManukauCentral VipersCounties ManukauAkarana Falcons
2014Canterbury Bulls408Waicoa Bay StallionsCounties Manukau*Northern SwordsAkarana FalconsAkarana Falcons
2015Counties Manukau[3]4110Canterbury BullsCounties ManukauNorthern SwordsAkarana FalconsAkarana Falcons
2016Akarana Falcons[4]3212Counties ManukauCounties ManukauWellington Orcas1438WaikatoAkarana FalconsCounties Manukau
2017Akarana Falcons304WaikatoAkarana FalconsWellington OrcasBay of Plenty Lakers
2018Akarana Falcons5120Counties ManukauAkarana FalconsWellington Orcas
2019 Akarana Falcons 28 10 Canterbury Bulls Akarana Falcons Waikato

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

See also

  • NZRL National Youth Tournament
  • NZRL National Secondary Schools Tournament
  • NZRL Women's National Tournament


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