The Plunket Shield is one of New Zealand's oldest and most demanding sporting competitions.
The shield itself was donated by Lord William Lee Plunket, New Zealand's twelfth Governor, in 1907 and to this day it is considered the most beautiful sporting prize in New Zealand.
Canterbury was the first association to hold the shield but promptly lost it to Auckland in the very first challenge match.
Well over a century later, the Central Stags will head into 2018/19 as the defending champions after having lifted the Plunket Shield undefeated last summer, competing for a 2018/19 season prize purse of $60,000.
Other recent champions include the Auckland Aces who were runaway champions in 2015/16 with a round to spare; and Canterbury who won the Plunket Shield for the third time in four years in a 2016/17 season that went down to the wire.
Match Officials Appointments
2017/18 Central Stags
2015/16 Auckland Aces
2012/13 Central Stags
2011/12 Northern Districts
2009/10 Northern Districts