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RUGBY with Richard ‘Pod’ Turner

Loving it back at Harbour

Welcome to my first Channel Magazine column to keep you informed of all the happenings at QBE Insurance Harbour Rugby.
This biggest thing in rugby this year is obviously the Rugby World Cup but we’ve got plenty happening for rugby followers in
QBE Insurance Harbour Rugby over the next few months as well in the lead-up to the big event.
Liam Barry has taken over as the QBE Insurance North Harbour ITM Cup side coach. He is assisted by Jeff Wilson, who is back once again to provide continuity. Amongst the new faces in the playing roster are loose forward and sevens star Soloman King (from Bay of Plenty) and Cody Rei, an exciting fullback/midfielder from Taranaki. Also returning from overseas are some familiar faces in Willie Walker (1st five/fullback) and flanker Brett Wilson. Look for big seasons from 1st five Ben Botica who has been killing it in club rugby for Shore and it looks like we will also have Woody (All Blacks prop Tony Woodcock) on board for many of the ITM matches as he comes back from injury for the World Cup. Big number eight Matt Luamanu, who I have big wraps on, is also rearing to go after getting limited game time with the Blues.
Congratulations also to big Ben Afeaki who has been chosen for the All Blacks training squad so looks to be firmly in the future thinking of the three wise men.
We have five excellent ITM Cup home games lined up. We kick-off on Tuesday July 19th with a match against Tasman, and this is followed by games against Hawkes Bay, Auckland (on a Sunday afternoon), Northland and Wellington.
Ticket prices for the 2011 ITM Cup home season are very affordable. The most affordable in the country we believe. Season passes are $50 (which includes two children under 13 free) and matchday tickets are just $15 (which also includes two children under 13 free). Students and superannuitants pay just $10.
It is also a thrill for us that our principal sponsor QBE has resigned as our major sponsor for a further three seasons. This season we also welcome Pink Batts to our family of sponsors, a family that also includes Canterbury, Benefitz, North Shore Toyota, Jetts Fitness, Richies and North Harbour Ford.
So we’re all set for a great season. I’m loving being back in the Harbour environment and look forward to seeing you up at the Stadium.

Cheers, Pod.
PS: Happy birthday Channel – I love the magazine.

QBE Insurance North Harbour ITM Cup home matches at North Harbour Stadium... Tues 19 July vs Tasman, 6.05pm; Thurs 28 July vs Hawke’s Bay, 7.35pm; Sun 7 Aug vs Auckland, 4.35pm; Sat 20 Aug vs Northland, 5.35pm; Fri 26 Aug vs Wellington, 7.35pm.

Richard Turner is a former All Black, North Harbour captain and the Commercial Manager at QBE Insurance North Harbour Rugby. He is also part of the SkyTV commentary team and has a weekly rugby hour on Radio Sport. 

by Richard 'Pod' Turner