NATIONAL PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP
New Zealand is divided into twenty-seven provincial unions, all who select representative sides. They are, from North to South: Northland, North Harbour, Auckland, Counties/Manukau, Thames Valley, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, East Coast, Poverty Bay, Hawkes Bay, King Country, Taranaki, Manawatu, Wanganui, Waiararapa Bush, Horowhenua/Kapiti, Wellington, Nelson Bays, Marlborough, Buller, West Coast, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, North Otago, Otago and Southland.
All the unions pride themselves on their particular brand of rugby, with prevailing weather conditions significant in the development of their style. Southern unions tend more toward the dour forward battles, waged on cold, wet grounds. Northern sides are better known for their expansive play, with underfoot conditions more condusive to running rugby. Some of the more remote unions, like the East and West Coasts, are famous for unique and free-spirited styles all of their own.