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New Bartercard Cup takes shape

Published: 1:47PM Thursday January 26, 2006 Source: ONE Sport

It will be a much different Bartercard Cup in 2006 as the emphasis moves from club rugby league to franchises.

Gone are a number of regular teams and in comes teams like Waitakere and Northland as New Zealand Rugby League looks to lift the standard of its elite domestic competition.

The revamped 10-team competition starts in March and will feature a Monday night match broadcast live on television.

The franchises, after much debate are now set and coaches have been appointed.

Northland, North Harbour (including Hibiscus Coast), Auckland Central (Mt Albert and Marist Richmond), Tamaki (Otahuhu Ellerslie and Eastern Tornadoes), Waitakere (Glenora), Counties Manukau, Waicoa Bay (Waikato), Central Falcons (Manawatu and Taranaki), Wellington and Canterbury will contest in a competition that sees them play twice against each team before a five-team finals campaign.

Kiwi coach Brian McClennan will coach the Auckland Central team. Ken McIntosh stays as boss of the Harbour side, while Bernie Perenara takes over at the new Waitakere franchise.

Dean Hunter remains in charge of Counties-Manukau while former Papakura coach Dean Clark takes over at Tamaki.

Hiki Rutene takes over from former Kiwi Tawera Nikau at the Hamilton-based Waicoa Bay Stallions but David Lomax, Paul Bergman and Phil Prescott stay in charge of Central, Wellington and Canterbury respectively.

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