National Competition

Pirtek National Premiership | "Got a Trade" NZRL National Youth Tournament

The 2015 National Premiership will kick off late August, with a televised final scheduled for mid to late October at Mt Smart Stadium.

The most recent version of the national competition began in 2010, when teams from the seven zones contested premier, 17s and 15s grades over a two month period.

In 2013, the 15s moved to a week-long tournament and in 2015, the 17s joined them at the "Got a Trade" NZRL National Youth Tournament in Rotorua.

This tournament will be run again in 2015.

The Premiers compete for the Albert Baskerville Trophy, the 17s for the Mark Graham Cup and the 15s for the Nathan Cayless Cup. Each team will be selected based on trial performance in their zone.


Northern Swords






Central Vipers


Akarana Falcons


Wellington Orcas


Counties Manukau Stingrays




South Island



A Baskeville
Albert Baskerville

Born in Waiorongomai, a small rural town on the outskirts of Te Aroha, Bert Baskerville left school at 14 and began working. By 1906 Baskerville was using his dual assets of size and speed as a prolific try scorer for the Oriental rugby union club, equally effective as a loose forward or outside back.

In an era of primitive communications and transport and with players facing the threat of lifetime suspension Baskerville persuaded many of New Zealand's finest rugby union players to live his dream of playing the new Northern Union code on a nine-month odyssey to Australia, Ceylon, Britain and home again via Australia.

Baskerville's insight led to the establishment of rugby league in New Zealand and was a major factor in its introduction to Australia. He is deservedly recognised as the founder of the international game. Tragically he died of pneumonia in Brisbane on the final leg of the tour by his 1907-08 All Golds at just 25 years of age.

Source: The Kiwis by J Coffey and B Wood

Mark Graham

Mark Graham was a back-rower and former captain of the Kiwis. An Otahahu junior, Graham played in 29 tests, captaining the Kiwis in 18 of them and scoring 7 tries from 1977 to 1988.

After winning premierships with his club in New Zealand he played eight seasons in the Brisbane Rugby League premiership with the Norths club, as well as the New South Wales Rugby League premiership for the North Sydney Bears between 1981 and 1988. He travelled to England to captain the newly promoted Wakefield Trinity club in the 1988-89 Rugby Football League season.

Graham was one of the initial inductees of the NZRL Legends of League. He was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame. He went on to coach the Auckland Warriors in the National Rugby League for two seasons in 1999 and 2000.

In August, 2006 Graham was named at second-row in the North Sydney Bears' Team of the Century. In 2007, he was named at second row in the New Zealand Kiwis Team of the Century and also further honoured as New Zealand's rugby league Player of the Century. In 2008, Graham was also named at second-row in a Norths Devils all-time greatest team.

Nathan Cayless

Nathan Cayless was a professional rugby league player and captain of the Parramatta Eels in the National Rugby League up until the end of 2010. His position of choice is prop forward.

While attending Parramatta Marist High, Cayless played for the Australian Schoolboys team in 1995 and 1996.

He chose to represent New Zealand at senior level and became one of the Kiwis most-capped players, appearing on 38 occasions between 1998 and 2009. He was part of the squad for both the 2000 and 2008 World Cups, and captained the Kiwis to victory at the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

He retired from international rugby league in April 2009, to focus the rest of his football career on the Eels where he holds the record for the most games as captain of any team in the NRL.


Pirtek National Premiership | "Got a Trade" NZRL National Youth Tournament