BULLER – THE HEARTLAND OF NEW ZEALAND RUGBY

It’s all hands on deck in Heartland rugby unions around New Zealand where rugby is still played purely for the love of the game, pride in the jersey and their communities while those involved mostly have full time jobs too.

As well as rugby, Buller and the West Coast region as a whole is the WHITEBAIT capital of the World, with the Buller River always a favourite place to catch the beautiful delicacy.

There is no better example of what grass roots rugby is all about than in Buller, situated on the beautiful West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand with the major town being Westport, the Buller District covering Westport, Karmea, Reefton and Inangahua Junction having a population of nearly 10,000 people. Victoria Square is the rep rugby team’s home ground

Buller Rugby CEO Andrew Duncan who at just 36 years old is the youngest provincial rugby union CEO in the country and he’s certainly hands on.

The youngest provincial rugby CEO in New Zealand.

Not only does Andrew run the rugby programme, he also referees and last Saturday he was an assistant ref in the exciting club grand final won by White Star 28-18 over Westport, the winners celebrating their 125th jubilee.

Buller senior rep coach Nathan Thompson also referees senior rugby, a sport which is a major part of local communities in Heartland New Zealand.

MULTI TASKING Buller senior mens rep coach Nathan Thompson

Just down the road is the West Coast rugby union based at Greymouth and these two arch rivals contest the Rundle Cup, always a very keenly sought after piece of silverware and the second oldest provincial rugby trophy in New Zealand after the Ranfurly Shield. Last year’s battle was a real cracker, Buller come out on top 36-32 at John Sturgeon Park in Greymouth.

GRAND FINAL JOY White Star players and supporters celebrate their epic finals win over Westport recently

ANDREW DUNCAN and NATHAN THOMPSON join me to chat about Buller rugby, the club grand final and the upcoming Heartland rugby competition.

Please share our stories and let Tony or I know if you have any good yarns to tell about Buller rugby.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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